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      Personality pace-of-life hypothesis: testing genetic associations among personality and life history

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      Behavioral Ecology

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Integrating animal temperament within ecology and evolution

          Temperament describes the idea that individual behavioural differences are repeatable over time and across situations. This common phenomenon covers numerous traits, such as aggressiveness, avoidance of novelty, willingness to take risks, exploration, and sociality. The study of temperament is central to animal psychology, behavioural genetics, pharmacology, and animal husbandry, but relatively few studies have examined the ecology and evolution of temperament traits. This situation is surprising, given that temperament is likely to exert an important influence on many aspects of animal ecology and evolution, and that individual variation in temperament appears to be pervasive amongst animal species. Possible explanations for this neglect of temperament include a perceived irrelevance, an insufficient understanding of the link between temperament traits and fitness, and a lack of coherence in terminology with similar traits often given different names, or different traits given the same name. We propose that temperament can and should be studied within an evolutionary ecology framework and provide a terminology that could be used as a working tool for ecological studies of temperament. Our terminology includes five major temperament trait categories: shyness-boldness, exploration-avoidance, activity, sociability and aggressiveness. This terminology does not make inferences regarding underlying dispositions or psychological processes, which may have restrained ecologists and evolutionary biologists from working on these traits. We present extensive literature reviews that demonstrate that temperament traits are heritable, and linked to fitness and to several other traits of importance to ecology and evolution. Furthermore, we describe ecologically relevant measurement methods and point to several ecological and evolutionary topics that would benefit from considering temperament, such as phenotypic plasticity, conservation biology, population sampling, and invasion biology.
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            Behavioral syndromes: an ecological and evolutionary overview

            Recent studies suggest that populations and species often exhibit behavioral syndromes; that is, suites of correlated behaviors across situations. An example is an aggression syndrome where some individuals are more aggressive, whereas others are less aggressive across a range of situations and contexts. The existence of behavioral syndromes focuses the attention of behavioral ecologists on limited (less than optimal) behavioral plasticity and behavioral carryovers across situations, rather than on optimal plasticity in each isolated situation. Behavioral syndromes can explain behaviors that appear strikingly non-adaptive in an isolated context (e.g. inappropriately high activity when predators are present, or excessive sexual cannibalism). Behavioral syndromes can also help to explain the maintenance of individual variation in behavioral types, a phenomenon that is ubiquitous, but often ignored. Recent studies suggest that the behavioral type of an individual, population or species can have important ecological and evolutionary implications, including major effects on species distributions, on the relative tendencies of species to be invasive or to respond well to environmental change, and on speciation rates. Although most studies of behavioral syndromes to date have focused on a few organisms, mainly in the laboratory, further work on other species, particularly in the field, should yield numerous new insights.
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              On r- and K-Selection

               Eric Pianka (1970)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Behavioral Ecology
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1465-7279
                1045-2249
                July 01 2013
                July 01 2013
                : 24
                : 4
                : 935-941
                10.1093/beheco/art014
                © 2013

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