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Kinematic integration during prey capture varies among individuals but not ecological contexts in bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus (Perciformes: Centrarchidae)

Citation

Higham, Timothy; Kane, Emily (2020), Kinematic integration during prey capture varies among individuals but not ecological contexts in bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus (Perciformes: Centrarchidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6086/D1J383

Abstract

The general ability for components of an organism to work together to achieve a common goal has been termed integration, and is often studied empirically by deconstructing organisms into component parts and quantifying covariation between them. Kinematic traits describing movement are useful for allowing organisms to respond to ecological contexts that vary on short time spans (milliseconds, minutes, etc.). Integration of these traits can contribute to maintaining whole-organism function, but it is unclear how modulation of component kinematic traits affects their integration. We examine integration of swimming and feeding during capture of alternative prey types in bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). Despite the expected modulation of kinematics, integration within individuals was inflexible across prey types, suggesting functional redundancy for solving a broad constraint. However, integration was variable among individuals, suggesting that individuals vary in their solutions for achieving whole-organism function and this solution acts as a “top-down” regulator of component traits that adds insight into why kinematic variation is observed. Additionally, variation in kinematic integration among individuals could serve as a understudied target of environmental selection on prey capture, which is a necessary first step toward the observed divergence between populations and species.

Usage Notes

Summary of data (variable definitions, etc.) included in first tab of Excel spreadsheet.