Individual responses to capture are not predicted by among-individual risk-taking in response to predation threat

OnderzoeksoutputAcademic

Samenvatting

Individuals vary consistently in their behavioural responses when coping with risky situations, such as a threat of predation. The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis postulates that a trade-off between current and future reproduction underlies such individual variation in behaviour. Individuals are hypothesised to vary in their relative investment in current versus future reproduction, with individuals with a fast pace of life showing more risk-prone behaviour. Importantly, the POLS hypothesis assumes that individuals vary along a single risk-taking axis. To test this, we investigated in breeding blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) whether individual variation in risk-taking is correlated across different risky situations. First, we simulated a predation threat, by presenting taxidermic mounts of a common predator, the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), to blue tit pairs during parental brood provisioning. Thereafter, we captured one parent, either male of female, of each breeding pair, which we kept for 15 min before release. We quantified individuals’ risk-taking behaviour by measuring their latencies to resume brood provisioning after exposure to the different risky conditions. We found individuals’ responses to predation threat and capture to be uncorrelated. Our study implies the existence of multiple, uncorrelated risk-prone—risk-averse axes along which individuals vary, which is inconsistent with the POLS hypothesis.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 2023

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