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How the cascading effects of a single behavioral trait can generate personality.

Dubois, Frédérique; Giraldeau, Luc-Alain (2014). How the cascading effects of a single behavioral trait can generate personality. Ecology and Evolution , vol. 4 , nº 15. p. 3038-3045. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1157.

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Résumé

Individuals from the same population generally vary in suites of correlated behavioral traits: personality. Yet, the strength of the behavioral correlations sometimes differs among populations and environmental conditions, suggesting that single underlying mechanisms, such as genetic constraints, cannot account for them. We propose, instead, that such suites of correlated traits may arise when a single key behavior has multiple cascading effects on several other behaviors through affecting the range of options available. For instance, an individual's shyness can constrain its habitat choice, which, in turn, could restrict the expression of other behavioral traits. We hypothesize that shy individuals should be especially restrained in their choice of habitat when the risk of predation is high, which then canalizes them into different behavioral options making them appear behaviorally distinct from bolder individuals. We test this idea using an individual-based simulation model. Our results show that individual differences in boldness can be sufficient, under high predation pressure, to generate behavioral correlations between boldness and both the tendency to aggregate and the propensity to use social information. Thus, our findings support the idea that some behavioral syndromes can be, at least to some extent, labile. Our model further predicts that such cascading effects should be more pronounced in populations with a long history of predation, which are expected to exhibit a low average boldness level, compared with predator-naïve populations. Our study demonstrates that labile behavioral correlations can arise from nongenetic means when some key behavior, under some specific ecological circumstances, exert cascading effects on the range of behaviors available to individuals. More specifically our simulation model shows that boldness can be one such key behavior exerting its cascading effects on both aggregation tendency and foraging tactic use under conditions of high predation pressure.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: behavioral correlations; boldness; personality; predation
Centre: Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Date de dépôt: 03 mai 2018 14:38
Dernière modification: 03 mai 2018 14:38
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7000

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