Summary: Behavior in defense of an area against another individual or individuals primarily of the same species.

Top Publications

  1. Fuxjager M, Oyegbile T, Marler C. Independent and additive contributions of postvictory testosterone and social experience to the development of the winner effect. Endocrinology. 2011;152:3422-9 pubmed publisher
  2. Briefer E, Osiejuk T, Rybak F, Aubin T. Are bird song complexity and song sharing shaped by habitat structure? An information theory and statistical approach. J Theor Biol. 2010;262:151-64 pubmed publisher
    ..Habitat fragmentation seems thus to have an effect on the composition of elements in songs, but not on the number and complexity of these elements, which may be a fixed feature of song peculiar to skylarks. ..
  3. Pastor J, Verdoit Jarraya M, Astruch P, Dalias N, Nelva Pasqual J, Saragoni G, et al. Acoustic telemetry survey of the dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) in the Marine Reserve of Cerbère-Banyuls: informations on the territoriality of this emblematic species. C R Biol. 2009;332:732-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Acoustic tracking coupled to the use of a fixed Kernel can be proposed to follow fish populations. ..
  4. Wakefield E, Bodey T, Bearhop S, Blackburn J, Colhoun K, Davies R, et al. Space partitioning without territoriality in gannets. Science. 2013;341:68-70 pubmed publisher
    ..This segregation may be enhanced by individual-level public information transfer, leading to cultural evolution and divergence among colonies. ..
  5. Apfelbeck B, Kiefer S, Mortega K, Goymann W, Kipper S. Testosterone affects song modulation during simulated territorial intrusions in male black redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros). PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e52009 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that testosterone facilitates context-dependent changes in song structures that may be honest signals of male quality in black redstarts. ..
  6. Wingfield J. A continuing saga: the role of testosterone in aggression. Horm Behav. 2005;48:253-5; discussion 256-8 pubmed
  7. Wallace R. Towing the party line: territoriality, risky boundaries and male group size in spider monkey fission-fusion societies. Am J Primatol. 2008;70:271-81 pubmed
    ..I discuss the results in relation to spider monkey ecology and territoriality, as well as the potential of this relationship for explaining chimpanzee (Pan) behavior given their extremely ..
  8. Maruska K, Fernald R. Behavioral and physiological plasticity: rapid changes during social ascent in an African cichlid fish. Horm Behav. 2010;58:230-40 pubmed publisher
    ..burtoni suggests that perception of social opportunity triggers a suite of quick changes to facilitate rapid transition towards reproductive success, and reveals important features of social ascent not previously recognized...
  9. Arakawa H, Arakawa K, Blanchard D, Blanchard R. A new test paradigm for social recognition evidenced by urinary scent marking behavior in C57BL/6J mice. Behav Brain Res. 2008;190:97-104 pubmed publisher
    ..familiar C57 males; likely due to similarities in their odor patterns. The data also indicate that scent marking can differentiate novel from familiar contexts. ..

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Börger L, Dalziel B, Fryxell J. Are there general mechanisms of animal home range behaviour? A review and prospects for future research. Ecol Lett. 2008;11:637-50 pubmed publisher
    ..Recent methodological and theoretical advances may soon lead to a unified approach, however, conceptually unifying our understanding of linkages among home range behaviour and ecological or evolutionary processes. ..
  2. Amrhein V, Lerch S. Differential effects of moving versus stationary territorial intruders on territory defence in a songbird. J Anim Ecol. 2010;79:82-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Investigating long-term changes in territory defence at dawn is a sensitive tool for discriminating between different types of intruders. ..
  3. Lappin A, Brandt Y, Husak J, Macedonia J, Kemp D. Gaping displays reveal and amplify a mechanically based index of weapon performance. Am Nat. 2006;168:100-13 pubmed
    ..Indexes that transmit information through mechanistic links to performance are expected to be widespread among animals. ..
  4. Arlt D, Pärt T. Post-breeding information gathering and breeding territory shifts in northern wheatears. J Anim Ecol. 2008;77:211-9 pubmed
    ..Under such circumstances an individual's choice of breeding site may often be determined at arrival in the subsequent year. ..
  5. Grosenick L, Clement T, Fernald R. Fish can infer social rank by observation alone. Nature. 2007;445:429-32 pubmed
    ..Rather, animals probably use multiple domain-specific representations adapted to different social and ecological pressures that they encounter during the course of their natural lives. ..
  6. Charlier T, Underhill C, Hammond G, Soma K. Effects of aggressive encounters on plasma corticosteroid-binding globulin and its ligands in white-crowned sparrows. Horm Behav. 2009;56:339-47 pubmed publisher
    ..However, this small change is unlikely to increase free testosterone levels, because of the large number of seemingly unoccupied CBG binding sites in these subjects. ..
  7. Hamelin F, Lewis M. A differential game theoretical analysis of mechanistic models for territoriality. J Math Biol. 2010;61:665-94 pubmed publisher
    ..From the ecological standpoint, when movement behavior is uncertain, the resulting evolutionarily stable equilibrium gives rise to a buffer-zone, or a no-wolf's land where deer are known to find refuge. ..
  8. Landys M, Goymann W, Schwabl I, Trapschuh M, Slagsvold T. Impact of season and social challenge on testosterone and corticosterone levels in a year-round territorial bird. Horm Behav. 2010;58:317-25 pubmed publisher
    ..To contribute to the growing literature regarding the hormonal correlates of non-breeding territoriality, we investigated the seasonal testosterone and corticosterone profile of male (and female) nuthatches and ..
  9. Fuxjager M, Forbes Lorman R, Coss D, Auger C, Auger A, Marler C. Winning territorial disputes selectively enhances androgen sensitivity in neural pathways related to motivation and social aggression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:12393-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, winning fights can change brain phenotype in a manner that likely promotes future victory and possibly primes neural circuits that motivate individuals to fight. ..
  10. Hinsch M, Komdeur J. Defence, intrusion and the evolutionary stability of territoriality. J Theor Biol. 2010;266:606-13 pubmed publisher
    ..Defence and thus territoriality can only be evolutionarily stable if fighting costs for the intruder relative to the productivity of the ..
  11. Giuggioli L, Potts J, Harris S. Animal interactions and the emergence of territoriality. PLoS Comput Biol. 2011;7:e1002008 pubmed publisher
    ..We find that the key parameters controlling territoriality are two: the average territory size, i.e...
  12. Ringler M, Ringler E, Magaña Mendoza D, Hödl W. Intrusion experiments to measure territory size: development of the method, tests through simulations, and application in the frog Allobates femoralis. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e25844 pubmed publisher
    b>Territoriality is a widespread behaviour in animals and its analysis is crucial in several areas of behavioural, ecological and evolutionary research...
  13. Packer C, Hilborn R, Mosser A, Kissui B, Borner M, Hopcraft G, et al. Ecological change, group territoriality, and population dynamics in Serengeti lions. Science. 2005;307:390-3 pubmed
    ..The results of a simulation model show that the observed pattern of "saltatory equilibria" results from the lions' grouping behavior...
  14. Longrie N, Van Wassenbergh S, Vandewalle P, Mauguit Q, Parmentier E. Potential mechanism of sound production in Oreochromis niloticus (Cichlidae). J Exp Biol. 2009;212:3395-402 pubmed publisher
    ..Contraction of these bundles should result in compression of the rib cage and also of the swimbladder, because of its close association with the serosa and ribs. Deflation of the swimbladder resulted in a reduced sound intensity...
  15. Lehtonen T. Convict cichlids benefit from close proximity to another species of cichlid fish. Biol Lett. 2008;4:610-2 pubmed publisher
  16. Ursprung E, Ringler M, Jehle R, Hödl W. Strong male/male competition allows for nonchoosy females: high levels of polygynandry in a territorial frog with paternal care. Mol Ecol. 2011;20:1759-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Allobates femoralis (Aromobatidae), a pan-Amazonian species that features prolonged iteroparous breeding, male territoriality and male parental care...
  17. Earley R, Edwards J, Aseem O, Felton K, Blumer L, Karom M, et al. Social interactions tune aggression and stress responsiveness in a territorial cichlid fish (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus). Physiol Behav. 2006;88:353-63 pubmed
  18. McGlothlin J, Jawor J, Greives T, Casto J, Phillips J, Ketterson E. Hormones and honest signals: males with larger ornaments elevate testosterone more when challenged. J Evol Biol. 2008;21:39-48 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that the association between tail white and testosterone increases may allow conspecifics to assess potential mates and competitors reliably using tail white. ..
  19. Lynn S, Prince L, Schook D, Moore I. Supplementary testosterone inhibits paternal care in a tropically breeding sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis. Physiol Biochem Zool. 2009;82:699-708 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data also suggest that selection for the two mechanisms to avoid deleterious effects of elevations in testosterone above the breeding baseline likely occurs independently. ..
  20. Canoine V, Fusani L, Schlinger B, Hau M. Low sex steroids, high steroid receptors: Increasing the sensitivity of the nonreproductive brain. Dev Neurobiol. 2007;67:57-67 pubmed
    ..This unusual seasonal receptor regulation may represent a means for the year-round regulation of vertebrate aggressive behavior via steroids by increasing the brain's sensitivity to sex steroids during the nonbreeding season. ..
  21. Apfelbeck B, Stegherr J, Goymann W. Simulating winning in the wild--the behavioral and hormonal response of black redstarts to single and repeated territorial challenges of high and low intensity. Horm Behav. 2011;60:565-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, they indicate that a hormonal effect of winning an encounter may not be universal in vertebrates and may depend on the ecological or life-history context. ..
  22. Börger L, Franconi N, De Michele G, Gantz A, Meschi F, Manica A, et al. Effects of sampling regime on the mean and variance of home range size estimates. J Anim Ecol. 2006;75:1393-405 pubmed
    ..Statistical results are reliable only if the whole sampling regime is standardized. We derive practical guidelines for field studies and data analysis...
  23. Sperry T, Wacker D, Wingfield J. The role of androgen receptors in regulating territorial aggression in male song sparrows. Horm Behav. 2010;57:86-95 pubmed publisher
    ..Given that flutamide only affected aggression during the pre-breeding substage and in LD birds, the results suggest that AR dependent control of aggressive behavior changes as song sparrow life history states change. ..
  24. Oyegbile T, Marler C. Weak winner effect in a less aggressive mammal: correlations with corticosterone but not testosterone. Physiol Behav. 2006;89:171-9 pubmed
    ..T) in the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) which generally display low levels of aggression and territoriality. We compared the effect of previously winning three, two, one, or zero resident-intruder encounters on the ..
  25. Bergman M, Gotthard K, Berger D, Olofsson M, Kemp D, Wiklund C. Mating success of resident versus non-resident males in a territorial butterfly. Proc Biol Sci. 2007;274:1659-65 pubmed
    ..We hypothesize that the proximate advantage of territory ownership is that light conditions in a large sunspot greatly increase the male's ability to detect and intercept passing receptive females. ..
  26. Marasco V, Fusani L, Dessì Fulgheri F, Canoine V. Non-migratory stonechats show seasonal changes in the hormonal regulation of non-seasonal territorial aggression. Horm Behav. 2011;60:414-9 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, our study supports the hypothesis that migratory status does modulate the intensity of aggressive behavior. ..
  27. Vanpe C, Morellet N, Kjellander P, Goulard M, Liberg O, Hewison A. Access to mates in a territorial ungulate is determined by the size of a male's territory, but not by its habitat quality. J Anim Ecol. 2009;78:42-51 pubmed publisher
    1. Territoriality is commonly associated with resource defence polygyny, where males are expected to gain access to females by anticipating how resources will influence female distribution and competing for resource-rich sites to ..
  28. Briefer E, Aubin T, Rybak F. Response to displaced neighbours in a territorial songbird with a large repertoire. Naturwissenschaften. 2009;96:1067-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Neighbour interactions in skylarks are thus subtle relationships that can be modulated according to the spatial position of each neighbour. ..
  29. Neave N, Wolfson S. Testosterone, territoriality, and the 'home advantage'. Physiol Behav. 2003;78:269-75 pubmed
    ..The present results corroborate and extend earlier findings on the relationships between testosterone, territoriality, and dominance in human competitive encounters and further suggest an important role for testosterone in the ..
  30. Carroll L, Meagher S, Morrison L, Penn D, Potts W. Fitness effects of a selfish gene (the Mus t complex) are revealed in an ecological context. Evolution. 2004;58:1318-28 pubmed
    ..This ecological approach for determining fitness consequences of genetic variants has broad application for the discovery of gene function in general. ..
  31. Wingfield J, Lynn S, Soma K. Avoiding the 'costs' of testosterone: ecological bases of hormone-behavior interactions. Brain Behav Evol. 2001;57:239-51 pubmed
  32. Yack J, Smith M, Weatherhead P. Caterpillar talk: acoustically mediated territoriality in larval Lepidoptera. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001;98:11371-5 pubmed
    ..Comparative evidence indicates that larval acoustic signaling may be widespread throughout the Lepidoptera, meriting consideration as a principal mode of communication for this important group of insects. ..
  33. Nievergelt C, Mutschler T, Feistner A. Group encounters and territoriality in wild Alaotran gentle lemurs (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis). Am J Primatol. 1998;46:251-8 pubmed
    ..and quantitative data on intergroup interactions and ranging patterns are discussed in the context of territoriality. Intergroup interactions varied in their intensity, ranging from visual monitoring, scent marking, and display ..
  34. Bester Meredith J, Marler C. Vasopressin and aggression in cross-fostered California mice (Peromyscus californicus) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Horm Behav. 2001;40:51-64 pubmed
  35. Trainor B, Marler C. Testosterone, paternal behavior, and aggression in the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Horm Behav. 2001;40:32-42 pubmed
    ..Measures of paternal behavior and aggression in a correlational experiment were actually positively correlated. Our data suggest that it may be worth reexamining the role that T plays in regulating mammalian paternal behavior. ..
  36. LeBas N. Microsatellite determination of male reproductive success in a natural population of the territorial ornate dragon lizard, Ctenophorus ornatus. Mol Ecol. 2001;10:193-203 pubmed
    ..Whether these extra-territorial copulations are due to female choice or success in male competition is unknown. ..
  37. Forstmeier W, Kempenaers B, Meyer A, Leisler B. A novel song parameter correlates with extra-pair paternity and reflects male longevity. Proc Biol Sci. 2002;269:1479-85 pubmed
    ..In addition, observations on territorial conflicts indicate that attractive males invest less in competition over territories because they can reproduce via extra-pair paternity. ..
  38. Leiser J, Itzkowitz M. Changing tactics: dominance, territoriality, and the responses of "primary" males to competition from conditional breeders in the variegated pupfish (Cyprinodon variegatus). Behav Processes. 2004;66:119-30 pubmed
    ..e. dominance or territoriality) in response to different numbers of competitors. In the field, competitors influenced aggression...
  39. Trainor B, Bird I, Marler C. Opposing hormonal mechanisms of aggression revealed through short-lived testosterone manipulations and multiple winning experiences. Horm Behav. 2004;45:115-21 pubmed
    ..Thus, distinct neuroendocrine mechanisms allow male California mice to adjust aggressive behavior in response to changes in social and reproductive status. ..
  40. Tynkkynen K, Rantala M, Suhonen J. Interspecific aggression and character displacement in the damselfly Calopteryx splendens. J Evol Biol. 2004;17:759-67 pubmed
    ..virgo males. Thus, interspecific aggression may be an evolutionarily significant force that is able to cause divergence in secondary sexual characters. ..
  41. Hurst J, Beynon R. Scent wars: the chemobiology of competitive signalling in mice. Bioessays. 2004;26:1288-98 pubmed
  42. Smith L, Raouf S, Brown M, Wingfield J, Brown C. Testosterone and group size in cliff swallows: testing the "challenge hypothesis" in a colonial bird. Horm Behav. 2005;47:76-82 pubmed
    ..The results support the predictions of the challenge hypothesis. ..
  43. Klukowski M, Nelson C. The challenge hypothesis and seasonal changes in aggression and steroids in male northern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus). Horm Behav. 1998;33:197-204 pubmed
    ..Thus, while testosterone concentrations do not appear to be involved in rapid changes in aggressive behavior in the fence lizard, they probably are important in larger-scale behavioral changes throughout the season. ..
  44. Carere C, Groothuis T, Möstl E, Daan S, Koolhaas J. Fecal corticosteroids in a territorial bird selected for different personalities: daily rhythm and the response to social stress. Horm Behav. 2003;43:540-8 pubmed
    ..The results provide evidence for a physiological basis of different coping strategies in birds, emerging in response to social stress and with a pattern similar to that in other vertebrates. ..
  45. Lumley L, Sipos M, Charles R, Charles R, Meyerhoff J. Social stress effects on territorial marking and ultrasonic vocalizations in mice. Physiol Behav. 1999;67:769-75 pubmed
    ..In sum, SD induced prolonged inhibition of territorial marking, but had only transient effects on ultrasonic courtship vocalizations, suggesting that different mechanisms may mediate the maintenance of these behaviors. ..
  46. Booksmythe I, Jennions M, Backwell P. Interspecific assistance: fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence. Biol Lett. 2010;6:748-50 pubmed publisher
    ..elegans neighbour during simulated intrusions by intermediate sized U. elegans males (50% of cases for both). Helping was, however, significantly less likely to occur when the intruder was a U. mjoebergi male (only 15% of cases). ..
  47. Frohschammer S, Heinze J. Male fighting and "territoriality" within colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla venustula. Naturwissenschaften. 2009;96:159-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Ant males therefore show a much larger variety of reproductive tactics than previously assumed. ..
  48. Petrusková T, Petrusek A, Pavel V, Fuchs R. Territorial meadow pipit males (Anthus pratensis; Passeriformes) become more aggressive in female presence. Naturwissenschaften. 2007;94:643-50 pubmed
  49. Snekser J, McRobert S, Clotfelter E. Social partner preferences of male and female fighting fish (Betta splendens). Behav Processes. 2006;72:38-41 pubmed
    ..The motivation for this preference certainly varied from reproductive to anti-predator. While such behavior might not suggest true shoaling behavior, it does demonstrate a subtle degree of sociality. ..
  50. Bedrosian T, Fonken L, Demas G, Nelson R. Photoperiod-dependent effects of neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibition on aggression in Siberian hamsters. Horm Behav. 2012;61:176-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Short days also reduced testosterone concentrations, without any effect of treatment. These data provide further evidence linking reduced nNOS to elevated short-day aggression and support a role for NO signaling in this phenomenon. ..
  51. Geissmann T, Mutschler T. Diurnal distribution of loud calls in sympatric wild indris (Indri indri) and ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata): implications for call functions. Primates. 2006;47:393-6 pubmed
    ..These differences in distribution pattern support earlier claims that indri song bouts are more likely to serve territorial functions, whereas ruffed lemur loud calls may serve both spacing and/or alarm call functions...
  52. Heg D, Bender N, Hamilton I. Strategic growth decisions in helper cichlids. Proc Biol Sci. 2004;271 Suppl 6:S505-8 pubmed
    ..As predicted, male helpers showed strategic growth adjustments, i.e. growing faster when the size difference with the breeder male is large. Strategic growth adjustments were less pronounced than status-dependent growth adjustments. ..
  53. Martín J, López P. Supplementation of male pheromone on rock substrates attracts female rock lizards to the territories of males: a field experiment. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e30108 pubmed publisher
    ..However, previous studies suggest that the allocation of ergosterol to secretions may be costly and only high quality males could afford it, thus, allowing the evolution of scent-marks as an honest sexual display. ..