Alternative tactics are not confined to reproduction. On the contrary, consistent behavioural phenotypes diverging from each other are widespread across species and populations, and they appear in a wide range of functional contexts. In the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher, for example, we find that alternative behavioural types are consistent throughout life and heritable, with social and other environmental effects triggering context-dependent behavioural decisions. We regard this behavioural consistency as a result of social niche specialisation.
Principal investigator: Michael Taborsky
Taborsky, M., Schütz, D., Goffinet, O. & van Doorn, G.S (2018) Alternative male morphs solve sperm performance/longevity trade-off in opposite directions. Sci. Adv. 4(5) eaap8563 [PDF]
Engqvist, L. and Taborsky, M. (2016): The evolution of genetic and conditional alternative reproductive tactics. Proc. R. Soc. B. 283:20152945 [PDF]
Wirtz Ocana, S., Meidl, P., Bonfils, D. & Taborsky, M. (2014): Y-linked Mendelian inheritance of giant and dwarf male morphs in shell-brooding cichlids. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 281: 20140253 [PDF]
Bergmüller R. & Taborsky M. (2010): Animal personality due to social niche specialisation. Trends Ecol. Evol. 25:504-511 [PDF]
Schütz D., Pachler G., Ripmeester E., Goffinet O. & Taborsky M. (2010): Reproductive investment of giants and dwarfs: specialized tactics in a cichlid fish with alternative male morphs. Funct. Ecol. 24:131-140 [PDF]
Oliveira R., Taborsky M. & Brockmann H.J. (2008): "Alternative Reproductive Tactics: An Integrative Approach". Cambridge University Press. 507pp. [PDF]