Haliotis tuberculata , a generalist marine herbivore that prefers a mixed diet, but with consistent individual foraging activity

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Roussel Sabine1, Poitevin Pierre1, 2, Day Robert1, 3, Le Grand Fabienne6, Stiger‐pouvreau Valérie1, Leblanc Catherine4, 5, Huchette Sylvain2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, LEMAR Plouzane, France
2 : Kerazan Lilia France Haliotis Plouguerneau ,France
3 : School of Biological Sciences University of Melbourne Parkville Vic. ,Australia
4 : Station Biologique de Roscoff Integrative Biology of Marine Models UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 8227 Sorbonne Universités, Roscoff Cedex ,France
5 : Station Biologique de Roscoff Integrative Biology of Marine Models UMR 8227 CNRS, Roscoff Cedex ,France
6 : Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, LEMAR Plouzane, France
Source Ethology (0179-1613) (Wiley), 2020-07 , Vol. 126 , N. 7 , P. 716-726
DOI 10.1111/eth.13020
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) food choice, foraging activity, individual consistency, intraclass correlation, marine herbivore, mollusc, proportion similarity index
Abstract

While population foraging behaviour of herbivores has been extensively studied, individual choice is still poorly understood. Very few studies have focused on the individual consistency of foraging behaviour in marine herbivores. Because marine ectotherms are strongly influenced by their environment and because a mixed diet is appropriate for herbivores, we hypothesized that Haliotis tuberculata, a large marine gastropod, would not exhibit significant individual consistency in foraging activity and would display generalist food choices. To test these hypotheses, the behaviour of 120 abalone was studied using a choice test of eight macroalgal species over 3 weeks, with video recording 24 hr a day. In addition, primary components, secondary metabolites and toughness of the eight algae were measured. At the population level, food choice was mainly related to the protein composition and the toughness of the macroalgae. We found that H. tuberculata is a generalist species feeding on a variety of algae (IS = 0.64), even if 21% of the individuals can be considered to be specialists. However, in contrast to our hypothesis, highly consistent between‐individual variation was observed in foraging activity (ICC = 0.81 for time spent feeding and ICC = 0.74 for number of feeding visits per day). The high individual consistency of foraging activity has some ecological and evolutionary implications currently not understood for this marine herbivore.

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Roussel Sabine, Poitevin Pierre, Day Robert, Le Grand Fabienne, Stiger‐pouvreau Valérie, Leblanc Catherine, Huchette Sylvain (2020). Haliotis tuberculata , a generalist marine herbivore that prefers a mixed diet, but with consistent individual foraging activity. Ethology, 126(7), 716-726. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.13020 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00613/72465/