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      Animal personality and state-behaviour feedbacks: a review and guide for empiricists.

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          Abstract

          An exciting area in behavioural ecology focuses on understanding why animals exhibit consistent among-individual differences in behaviour (animal personalities). Animal personality has been proposed to emerge as an adaptation to individual differences in state variables, leading to the question of why individuals differ consistently in state. Recent theory emphasizes the role that positive feedbacks between state and behaviour can play in producing consistent among-individual covariance between state and behaviour, hence state-dependent personality. We review the role of feedbacks in recent models of adaptive personalities, and provide guidelines for empirical testing of model assumptions and predictions. We discuss the importance of the mediating effects of ecology on these feedbacks, and provide a roadmap for including state-behaviour feedbacks in behavioural ecology research.

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          Most cited references59

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          Behavioural reaction norms: animal personality meets individual plasticity

          Recent studies in the field of behavioural ecology have revealed intriguing variation in behaviour within single populations. Increasing evidence suggests that individual animals differ in their average level of behaviour displayed across a range of contexts (animal 'personality'), and in their responsiveness to environmental variation (plasticity), and that these phenomena can be considered complementary aspects of the individual phenotype. How should this complex variation be studied? Here, we outline how central ideas in behavioural ecology and quantitative genetics can be combined within a single framework based on the concept of 'behavioural reaction norms'. This integrative approach facilitates analysis of phenomena usually studied separately in terms of personality and plasticity, thereby enhancing understanding of their adaptive nature. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Animal personalities: consequences for ecology and evolution.

            Personality differences are a widespread phenomenon throughout the animal kingdom. Past research has focused on the characterization of such differences and a quest for their proximate and ultimate causation. However, the consequences of these differences for ecology and evolution received much less attention. Here, we strive to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive inventory of the potential implications of personality differences, ranging from population growth and persistence to species interactions and community dynamics, and covering issues such as social evolution, the speed of evolution, evolvability, and speciation. The emerging picture strongly suggests that personality differences matter for ecological and evolutionary processes (and their interaction) and, thus, should be considered a key dimension of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant intraspecific variation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Are animal personality traits linked to life-history productivity?

              Animal personality traits such as boldness, activity and aggressiveness have been described for many animal species. However, why some individuals are consistently bolder or more active than others, for example, is currently obscure. Given that life-history tradeoffs are common and known to promote inter-individual differences in behavior, we suggest that consistent individual differences in animal personality traits can be favored when those traits contribute to consistent individual differences in productivity (growth and/or fecundity). A survey of empirical studies indicates that boldness, activity and/or aggressiveness are positively related to food intake rates, productivity and other life-history traits in a wide range of taxa. Our conceptual framework sets the stage for a closer look at relationships between personality traits and life-history traits in animals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)
                Trends in ecology & evolution
                1872-8383
                0169-5347
                Jan 2015
                : 30
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address: asih@ucdavis.edu.
                [2 ] Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany.
                [3 ] Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
                [4 ] Department of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany.
                [5 ] Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany; Behavioural Ecology, Department of Biology, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.
                Article
                S0169-5347(14)00243-2
                10.1016/j.tree.2014.11.004
                25498413
                2f494c5b-72fe-4a56-a834-31f5e0690739
                Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
                History

                adaptive theory,aggression,animal personality,asset protection,boldness,exploratory tendency,feedback loops,phenotypic integration,social niches,state-dependent behaviour

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