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Individual boldness is linked to protective shell shape in aquatic snails.

Ahlgren, Johan LU ; Chapman, Ben LU ; Nilsson, Anders LU and Brönmark, Christer LU (2015) In Biology Letters 11(4).
Abstract
The existence of consistent individual differences in behaviour ('animal personality') has been well documented in recent years. However, how such individual variation in behaviour is maintained over evolutionary time is an ongoing conundrum. A well-studied axis of animal personality is individual variation along a bold-shy continuum, where individuals differ consistently in their propensity to take risks. A predation-risk cost to boldness is often assumed, but also that the reproductive benefits associated with boldness lead to equivalent fitness outcomes between bold and shy individuals over a lifetime. However, an alternative or complementary explanation may be that bold individuals phenotypically compensate for their risky lifestyle to... (More)
The existence of consistent individual differences in behaviour ('animal personality') has been well documented in recent years. However, how such individual variation in behaviour is maintained over evolutionary time is an ongoing conundrum. A well-studied axis of animal personality is individual variation along a bold-shy continuum, where individuals differ consistently in their propensity to take risks. A predation-risk cost to boldness is often assumed, but also that the reproductive benefits associated with boldness lead to equivalent fitness outcomes between bold and shy individuals over a lifetime. However, an alternative or complementary explanation may be that bold individuals phenotypically compensate for their risky lifestyle to reduce predation costs, for instance by investing in more pronounced morphological defences. Here, we investigate the 'phenotypic compensation' hypothesis, i.e. that bold individuals exhibit more pronounced anti-predator defences than shy individuals, by relating shell shape in the aquatic snail Radix balthica to an index of individual boldness. Our analyses find a strong relationship between risk-taking propensity and shell shape in this species, with bolder individuals exhibiting a more defended shell shape than shy individuals. We suggest that this supports the 'phenotypic compensation' hypothesis and sheds light on a previously poorly studied mechanism to promote the maintenance of personality variation among animals. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biology Letters
volume
11
issue
4
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:25904320
  • wos:000353349400010
  • scopus:84929094304
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2015.0029
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
33f81dca-a2f0-41e3-a57d-c2bdaf4a1e5a (old id 5340902)
date added to LUP
2015-04-30 12:16:59
date last changed
2017-08-06 03:20:08
@article{33f81dca-a2f0-41e3-a57d-c2bdaf4a1e5a,
  abstract     = {The existence of consistent individual differences in behaviour ('animal personality') has been well documented in recent years. However, how such individual variation in behaviour is maintained over evolutionary time is an ongoing conundrum. A well-studied axis of animal personality is individual variation along a bold-shy continuum, where individuals differ consistently in their propensity to take risks. A predation-risk cost to boldness is often assumed, but also that the reproductive benefits associated with boldness lead to equivalent fitness outcomes between bold and shy individuals over a lifetime. However, an alternative or complementary explanation may be that bold individuals phenotypically compensate for their risky lifestyle to reduce predation costs, for instance by investing in more pronounced morphological defences. Here, we investigate the 'phenotypic compensation' hypothesis, i.e. that bold individuals exhibit more pronounced anti-predator defences than shy individuals, by relating shell shape in the aquatic snail Radix balthica to an index of individual boldness. Our analyses find a strong relationship between risk-taking propensity and shell shape in this species, with bolder individuals exhibiting a more defended shell shape than shy individuals. We suggest that this supports the 'phenotypic compensation' hypothesis and sheds light on a previously poorly studied mechanism to promote the maintenance of personality variation among animals.},
  author       = {Ahlgren, Johan and Chapman, Ben and Nilsson, Anders and Brönmark, Christer},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {Individual boldness is linked to protective shell shape in aquatic snails.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0029},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2015},
}