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A design for multifactorial choice experiments: an example using microhabitat selection by
 

Summary: A design for multifactorial choice experiments: an
example using microhabitat selection by
sea slugs Onchidoris bilamellata (L.)
M.A. Barbeaua,*, K. Durelleb
, R.B. Aikenb
a
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Bag Service #45111, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 6E1
b
Department of Biology, Mount Allison University, 63B York St., Sackville, NB, Canada E4L 1G7
Received 17 October 2002; received in revised form 19 December 2003; accepted 19 January 2004
Abstract
When animals make choices (selecting foods, habitats, mates, etc.), they must assess multiple
factors, often simultaneously. Moreover, certain factors have more weight in the choice-making process
than others. Typically, however, studies of animal choice consider the effect of only one factor (i.e.
different levels of a single factor). In this paper, we present a design for multifactorial choice
experiments, in which animals are offered a choice between different levels of two or more factors. The
advantages of the multifactorial choice design are that interactions between different factors affecting
choice can be explicitly examined and the relative importance of several factors can be assessed. We
illustrate the use of the design in a laboratory experiment to examine the effect of light intensity and
texture of substratum on selection of microhabitat by sea slugs (Onchidoris bilamellata (L.)). In this

  

Source: Aiken, Ron - Biology Department, Mount Allison University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine