temperament, behavioral phenotype, exploration, Lepidomeda, personality-dependent


The process of dispersal is determined by the interaction of individual (intrinsic) traits and environmental (extrinsic) factors. Although many studies address and quantify dispersal, few evaluate both intrinsic and extrinsic factors jointly. We test the relative importance of intrinsic traits (exploration tendency and size) and extrinsic factors (population density and habitat quality) on dispersal of a medium-sized western United States minnow, southern leatherside chub Lepidomeda aliciae. A generalized linear model with a binomial response was used to determine the probability of individuals dispersing one year after tagging. Medium-sized individuals that were more prone to explore novel environments were 10.7 times more likely to be recaptured outside of their original capture area after a year (dispersal) compared to non-explorer individuals of the same size class. Differences between explorer classifications within the small and large size classes were negligible. Open habitat within 50 m upstream also increased the probability of dispersal relative to controls. Relative location within the study reach, and population density were not significantly related to dispersal probabilities of individuals. Our results indicate that understanding of personality may illuminate patterns of dispersal within and among populations.

Original Publication Citation

J.E. Rasmussen, and M.C. Belk. 2012. Dispersal behavior correlates with personality of a North American fish. Current Zoology 58:260-270.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Current Zoology




Life Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Included in

Biology Commons