Interindividual variation in the prolonged locomotor performance of ectothermic vertebrates: A comparison of fish and herpetofaunal methodologies and a brief review of the recent fish literature

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Physiological research of locomotor performance in fishes has traditionally adopted an approach in which the mean performance of a number of fish was considered 'real' and variation around the mean was considered statistical noise. Drawing on advances made in herpetofaunal studies, an alternative approach has recently appeared in the fish literature in which variation among individual fish has been shown to be repeatable and statistically valid. The incorporation, rather than suppression, of individual variation in experimental design has revealed interesting and biologically relevant relationships between morphological and physiological traits and swimming performance that can be masked by the traditional use of group means. Considering the promising nature of these initial studies incorporating individual variability in fish performance, this paper has two primary objectives. The first is to compare methodologies that have been used in studies involving intraspecific variability in the locomotor performance of fish and herpetofauna. The second is to review the fish literature regarding interindividual variation in prolonged swimming performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-710
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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