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An experimental test of density-dependent selection on temperament traits of activity, boldness and sociability

Abstract : Temperament traits are seen in many animal species, and recent evolutionary models predict that they could be maintained by heterogeneous selection. We tested this prediction by examining density-dependent selection in juvenile common lizards Zootoca vivipara scored for activity, boldness and sociability at birth and at the age of 1year. We measured three key life-history traits (juvenile survival, body growth rate and reproduction) and quantified selection in experimental populations at five density levels ranging from low to high values. We observed consistent individual differences for all behaviours on the short term, but only for activity and one boldness measure across the first year of life. At low density, growth selection favoured more sociable lizards, whereas viability selection favoured less active individuals. A significant negative correlational selection on activity and boldness existed for body growth rate irrespective of density. Thus, behavioural traits were characterized by limited ontogenic consistency, and natural selection was heterogeneous between density treatments and fitness traits. This confirms that density-dependent selection plays an important role in the maintenance of individual differences in exploration-activity and sociability.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02636193
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 8:06:41 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 3:52:03 AM

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Jean-François Le Galliard, M. Paquet, Marianne Mugabo. An experimental test of density-dependent selection on temperament traits of activity, boldness and sociability. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Wiley, 2015, 28 (5), pp.1144-1155. ⟨10.1111/jeb.12641⟩. ⟨hal-02636193⟩

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