Despite many similarities and intuitive links between individual dietary specialization and behavioral inter-individual variation, these phenomena have been studied in isolation, and empirical data confirming relationships between these intraspecific variance sources are lacking. Here we use stable isotope analysis and acoustic telemetry to test the hypothesis that individual specialization in trophic (d15N) and littoral/pelagic prey reliance (d13C) covary with inter-individual variation in movement in a group of 34 free-swimming burbot (Lota lota). By performing stable isotope analysis on tissues with differing isotopic turnover rates (anal fin and dorsal muscle), in 24 lethally sampled burbot, we demonstrate that individual specialization in trophic niche (d15N) and littoral/pelagic prey reliance (d13C) occurred within the population. By performing stable isotope analysis on anal fins of a group of telemetry tagged burbot, we were able to show that interactions between trophic niche and littoral/pelagic prey reliance, explained a significant proportion of the subsequent between-individual variance in mean movement rates. These findings demonstrate an empirical connection between behavioral inter-individual variation and dietary specialization, thus providing a substantial expansion of our understanding of the wider ecological consequences of these interesting phenomena.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Animal personality, Burbot, Individual differences, Individual specialization, Intraspecific variation isotope ecology, Lota lota, Spatial ecology, Telemetry
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.1681
Journal Ecology
Citation
Harrison, P.M., Gutowsky, L.F.G., Martins, E.G., Ward, T.D., Patterson, D.A., Cooke, S.J, & Power, M. (2017). Individual isotopic specializations predict subsequent inter-individual variation in movement in a freshwater fish. Ecology, 98(3), 608–615. doi:10.1002/ecy.1681