Within-population differences in personality and plasticity in the trade-off between vigilance and foraging in kangaroos

Favreau, Francois-Rene, Goldizen, Anne W., Fritz, Herve, Blomberg, Simon P., Best, Emily C. and Pays, Olivier (2014) Within-population differences in personality and plasticity in the trade-off between vigilance and foraging in kangaroos. Animal Behaviour, 92 175-184. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.04.003

Author Favreau, Francois-Rene
Goldizen, Anne W.
Fritz, Herve
Blomberg, Simon P.
Best, Emily C.
Pays, Olivier
Title Within-population differences in personality and plasticity in the trade-off between vigilance and foraging in kangaroos
Journal name Animal Behaviour   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3472
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.04.003
Open Access Status
Volume 92
Start page 175
End page 184
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 1103 Animal Science and Zoology
1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Abstract Behavioural traits can vary between individuals from the same population. These differences can involve consistent variation in the level of a particular behaviour (personality) or differences in the way individuals adjust their behaviour to environmental gradients (plasticity). In prey species, feeding rates and vigilance vary with environmental, social and individual factors and the feeding rate/vigilance relationship reflects the trade-off between food acquisition and safety. While feeding rates and vigilance have been shown to vary between individuals in relation to group size and predation risk, how they relate to other factors has not yet been investigated, nor has between-individual variation in this trade-off. We studied between-individual variation in vigilance, feeding rates and their trade-off in female eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, to see whether females showed consistent behavioural differences and different plasticity in relation to ecological (food patch richness), social (group sizes) and physiological (reproductive states) conditions. We addressed two contrasting hypotheses: an 'ecological' hypothesis under which individuals facing the same conditions should behave similarly, and a 'behavioural' hypothesis under which they should behave differently because of their own personality or plasticity. Female kangaroos tended to adjust their behaviours similarly in relation to ecological and social conditions, supporting the ecological hypothesis. However, they also showed differences in personality and plasticity in relation to their reproductive states that could not be explained by energetic demand alone this was suggestive of different maternal strategies, thus supporting the behavioural hypothesis. Altogether these results suggest that consistent differences in animals' personality and behavioural plasticity can be promoted by physiological conditions and are not necessarily repeatable across different ecological contexts.
Keyword Behavioural plasticity
Feeding rate
Macropus giganteus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
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