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Data from: Status-dependent metabolic effects of social interactions in a group-living fish

Cite this dataset

Morin, André et al. (2024). Data from: Status-dependent metabolic effects of social interactions in a group-living fish [Dataset]. Dryad.


Social interactions can sometimes be a source of stress, but social companions can also ameliorate and buffer against stress. Stress and metabolism are closely linked, but the degree to which social companions modulate metabolic responses during stressful situations—and whether such effects differ depending on social rank—is poorly understood. To investigate this question, we studied Neolamprologus pulcher, a group-living cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and measured the metabolic responses of dominant and subordinate individuals when they were either visible or concealed from one another. When individuals could see each other, subordinates had lower maximum metabolic rates and tended to take longer to recover following an exhaustive chase compared to dominants. In contrast, metabolic responses of dominants and subordinates did not differ when individuals could not see one another. These findings suggest that the presence of a dominant individual has negative metabolic consequences for subordinates, even in stable social groups with strong prosocial relationships.

README: Data from: Status-dependent metabolic effects of social interactions in a group-living fish

Morin-Metabolic_Data.csv contains all data used for statistical analysis and figure creation.

Morin-Analysis_Figure_Script.R contains the R script used to analyse the data and build all graphical figures.

Data in .csv

Data analysis used non-size-adjusted measurements of metabolic traits.

For data visualisation, log-transformed metabolic trait values were size-adjusted (denoted by adj_) to the mean body mass of all fish tested (6.48 g).


  • Masses are presented in grams (g)
  • Oxygen consumption rates and aerobic scopes are presented in µmol O₂ h⁻¹
  • Excess post-exercise oxygen consumptions (EPOC) are presented in µmol O₂
  • Times are presented in minutes (min)

Abbreviations used in .csv (left to right):

P: pair

NP: Neolamprologus pulcher

rest_routine_stim: stimulus (Social or Isolation) during first 48 h

MO2: oxygen consumption rates (MO₂)

adj_: size-adjusted to mean body mass

recovery_stim: stimulus (Social or Isolation) during 6 h recovery

max_MO2: maximum MO₂

EPOC: Excess post-exercise oxygen consumptions

time_to_recovery_10p_routine: recovery to within 10% of routine MO₂

time_to_recovery_50p_AS: recovery to 50% of aerobic scope

R Script

The R script includes all code used for statistical analyses and figure building. Informative headings and annotations can be found throughout the script, denoted by # symbols.


Data was collected and processed via intermittent flow respirometry with Neolamprologus pulcher.


Government of Ontario

Hamilton Community Foundation

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council