Quantitative genetics of behavioural reaction norms: Genetic correlations between personality and behavioural plasticity vary across stickleback populations

N. J. Dingemanse*, I. Barber, J. Wright, J. E. Brommer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Behavioural ecologists have proposed various evolutionary mechanisms as to why different personality types coexist. Our ability to understand the evolutionary trajectories of personality traits requires insights from the quantitative genetics of behavioural reaction norms. We assayed > 1000 pedigreed stickleback for initial exploration behaviour of a novel environment, and subsequent changes in exploration over a few hours, representing their capacity to adjust their behaviour to changes in perceived novelty and risk. We found heritable variation in both the average level of exploration and behavioural plasticity, and population differences in the sign of the genetic correlation between these two reaction norm components. The phenotypic correlation was not a good indicator of the genetic correlation, implying that quantitative genetics are necessary to appropriately evaluate evolutionary hypotheses in cases such as these. Our findings therefore have important implications for future studies concerning the evolution of personality and plasticity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)485-496
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
    Volume25
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar-2012

    Keywords

    • adaptive population differentiation
    • genetic variation in plasticity
    • genotype by environment interaction
    • heritability
    • phenotypic gambit
    • predation
    • WILD BIRD POPULATION
    • TIT PARUS-MAJOR
    • PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY
    • GASTEROSTEUS-ACULEATUS
    • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
    • FITNESS CONSEQUENCES
    • 3-SPINED STICKLEBACK
    • EVOLUTION
    • ECOLOGY
    • TEMPERAMENT

    Cite this