Understanding phenotypic and genetic variation in behaviours linked to migration in Lake Superior Brook Trout

Thumbnail Image
Wajmer, Nicole
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

I investigated the relationship between personality and migration in Lake Superior Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) known to display migratory polymorphisms: a small bodied stream resident, and a larger bodied migrant. Resident and migrant Brook Trout were captured and crossed to create 26 families. Five personality metrics were quantified for offspring and tested for (i) repeatability and heritability, (ii) phenotypic and genetic correlations, and (iii) relationships with the migratory behaviour of their parents. Assays of risk-taking, general activity, social behaviour, and propensity to disperse were conducted for the 0+, 1+, and 2+ age classes. Personality metrics were repeatable and heritable across age classes. I found evidence for a behaviour syndrome involving risk-taking, activity, and propensity to disperse. However, the personality of the offspring was not related to the migratory status of their parents at any age, suggesting that personality and migratory behaviour are not controlled by a simple, proximate mechanism.

Brook Trout, personality, migration, MCMCglmm, repeatability, heritability, genetic correlations