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Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits, Parus major

Aplin, L. M.; Firth, J. A.; Farine, D. R.; Voelkl, B.; Crates, R. A.; Culina, A.; Garroway, C. J.; Hinde, C. A.; Kidd, L. R. and Psorakis, I., et al. (2015) In Animal Behaviour 108. p.117-127
Abstract
Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a... (More)
Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a range of social network metrics to quantify individual variation in social behaviour. We then examined repeatability in social behaviour over both short (week to week) and long (year to year) timescales, and investigated variation in repeatability across age and sex classes. Social behaviours were significantly repeatable across all timescales, with the highest repeatability observed in group size choice and unweighted degree, a measure of gregariousness. By conducting randomizations to control for the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals, we further show that differences in social phenotypes were not solely explained by within-population variation in local densities, but also reflected fine-scale variation in social decision making. Our results provide rare evidence of stable social phenotypes in a wild population of animals. Such stable social phenotypes can be targets of selection and may have important fitness consequences, both for individuals and for their social-foraging associates. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license. (Less)
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published
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keywords
animal personality, Parus major, repeatability, social behaviour, socixal network analysis
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
108
pages
117 - 127
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000361570000015
  • pmid:26512142
  • scopus:84939614992
ISSN
1095-8282
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.07.016
language
English
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880b15b4-50f3-4647-82c2-129b28529b46 (old id 8058495)
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2015-10-21 08:37:26
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@article{880b15b4-50f3-4647-82c2-129b28529b46,
  abstract     = {Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a range of social network metrics to quantify individual variation in social behaviour. We then examined repeatability in social behaviour over both short (week to week) and long (year to year) timescales, and investigated variation in repeatability across age and sex classes. Social behaviours were significantly repeatable across all timescales, with the highest repeatability observed in group size choice and unweighted degree, a measure of gregariousness. By conducting randomizations to control for the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals, we further show that differences in social phenotypes were not solely explained by within-population variation in local densities, but also reflected fine-scale variation in social decision making. Our results provide rare evidence of stable social phenotypes in a wild population of animals. Such stable social phenotypes can be targets of selection and may have important fitness consequences, both for individuals and for their social-foraging associates. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license.},
  author       = {Aplin, L. M. and Firth, J. A. and Farine, D. R. and Voelkl, B. and Crates, R. A. and Culina, A. and Garroway, C. J. and Hinde, C. A. and Kidd, L. R. and Psorakis, I. and Milligan, N. D. and Radersma, Reinder and Verhelst, B. L. and Sheldon, B. C.},
  issn         = {1095-8282},
  keyword      = {animal personality,Parus major,repeatability,social behaviour,socixal network analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {117--127},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits, Parus major},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.07.016},
  volume       = {108},
  year         = {2015},
}