Integrating animal temperament within ecology and evolution

  title={Integrating animal temperament within ecology and evolution},
  author={Denis R{\'e}ale and Simon M. Reader and Daniel Sol and Peter T. McDougall and Niels J. Dingemanse},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
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… 

The importance of wild populations in studies of animal temperament

This review highlights potential problems that arise from using captive animals to elucidate the ecological and evolutionary functions of temperament in wild populations, and stresses the need for measurements of repeatability and heritability, and the importance of biological and ecological validation of temperament tests in wild animals.

Personality Variation in Little Brown Bats

Evidence is found of short-term consistency of personality within individuals but with the potential for temporal flexibility of traits, depending on age, in little brown bats.

Parasitism and the evolutionary ecology of animal personality

  • I. BarberN. Dingemanse
  • Biology, Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2010
Host–parasite systems provide researchers with valuable tools to study personality variation and behavioural syndromes from a proximate and ultimate perspective.

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Gaps to Address in Ecological Studies of Temperament and Physiology.

Increased diversity of species studied, and increased number of physiological processes studied are proposed, with an eye toward using more representative and relatively consistent measures across studies, to maximize progress.

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Performance, Personality, and Energetics: Correlation, Causation, and Mechanism*

The integration of performance traits within the pace-of-life-syndrome concept has the potential to fill a logical gap between the context dependency of selection and how energetics and personality are expected to interrelate.

Animal personality adds complexity to the processes of adaptive divergence and speciation

Differences between morphs and their hybrids in other behavioural aspects than their average behavioural responses suggest that the understanding of speciation processes can benefit from an integrative view of behavioural variation.



Consistency of temperament in bighorn ewes and correlates with behaviour and life history

For bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis, ewes captured as part of a long-term study, behaviour during handling is compared to behaviour in the field and reproductive history, and temperament is domain specific rather than domain general.

The behavioural ecology of personality: consistent individual differences from an adaptive perspective

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Temperament in nonhuman primates

Results from studies of primate temperament at the individual, population, and species level are reviewed and the possible relation of temperamental characteristics to social behavior and ecology in selected species are discussed.

Natural selection and animal personality

An overview of the available literature on the fitness consequences of personality traits in natural populations is provided and it is hoped that this review will stimulate the use of the phenotypic selection analysis applied to the study of selection on Personality traits in animals.

Avian personalities: characterization and epigenesis

Additive and nonadditive genetic variation in avian personality traits

Both additive and dominant genetic effects were important determinants of phenotypic variation in exploratory behaviour and boldness, however, no sex-dependent expression was observed in either of these personality traits.

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It is argued that animal temperament is an important concept for wildlife conservation and knowledge about temperament may also provide a useful tool to optimize captive reproduction and to increase reintroduction success, and consideration of temperaments could strengthen both captive and wild conservation efforts.

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Interest in behavioral processes will continue to grow during the next decade, and that proximate and ultimate approaches to behavioral problems will be more closely integrated than was true in the past.

Behavioral Syndromes: An Integrative Overview

It is suggested that behavioral syndromes could play a useful role as an integrative bridge between genetics, experience, neuroendocrine mechanisms, evolution, and ecology.