Behavioural Ecology of Teleost Fishes
J.-G.J. Godin (ed.)
Oxford University Press, Oxford etc., 1997
ISBN 0-19-854784-6, £55.00
Hard cover, pp. xiv 384, 9 tables, 50 ®gures
Author, species and subject indexes
Behavioural ecology is the study of the function of behaviour. It seeks to identify the
adaptive signi®cance of behaviour. Jean-Guy Godin has edited a volume that reviews
studies on the behavioural ecology of ®shes carried out in the 1980s and early 1990s. The
book is dedicated to two Canadian biologists who have made distinguished contributions
to those studies, Miles H.A. Keenleyside and the late Gerry FitzGerald. In textbooks on
ecology, ethology and behavioural ecology, ®shes usually get short shrift, apart from a
few favoured examples. Godin's book, together with Pitcher's (1993) volume, ensures that
any prospective authors of textbooks now have suf®cient material readily available.
The aim of the book is to present reviews and syntheses of theoretical and empirical
studies on the behaviour of ®sh in relation to the components of ®tness of survival,
reproduction and growth. A second aim is to identify promising future directions for
research, and most of the authors make an explicit effort to chart such directions.
There are six sections. The ®rst is Godin's introductory chapter, which de®nes the
aims of behavioural ecology and outlines the structure of the book. Three chapters on
the use of space follow. J.J. Dodson reviews migration. Unlike most reviews of
migration, the chapter concentrates on the ecological and evolutionary signi®cance of
migration rather than on mechanisms of orientation. D. Kramer and colleagues review
habitat selection by ®rst discussing theoretical studies that use optimality principles or
developments of the ideal free distribution model. They then describe habitat selection
in nature for a range of aquatic systems. The section is concluded by a much-needed
review of territoriality by J.W.A. Grant.
The following section has chapters by P.J.B. Hart on foraging tactics and by R.N.
Hughes on diet selection. These chapters emphasize the potential ¯exibility of the
foraging behaviour of ®sh. The editing largely ensures that these two chapters
complement each other. This is even truer for the chapter by R.J.F. Smith on avoiding
and deterring predators and that by J.-G.J. Godin on evading predators. Smith's chapter
discusses the ways in which prey ®sh minimize detection by, or maximize avoidance of,
a predator. Godin picks up the story once the predator has detected the prey and
launched an attack. He describes mechanisms by which prey evade or survive attack.
Reproduction, which after all is the whole point of the exercise, is covered in three
chapters: mating systems and sex allocation (A. Berglund), sexual selection (L.A.
Dugatkin and G.J. FitzGerald) and parental care (R.C. Sargent). In this section, the
editing has been less successful, with some unnecessary overlap and repetition. The
®nal section is a single, ambitious chapter by L. Persson and co-workers. This chapter
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 8, 493±500 (1998)
0960±3166 # 1998 Chapman & Hall