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Individuals that are consistent in risk-taking benefit during collective foraging

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

It is well established that living in groups helps animals avoid predation and locate resources, but maintaining a group requires collective coordination, which can be difficult when individuals differ from one another. Personality variation (consistent behavioural differences within a population) is already known to be important in group interactions. Growing evidence suggests that individuals also differ in their consistency, i.e. differing in how variable they are over time, and theoretical models predict that this consistency can be beneficial in social contexts. We used three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to test whether the consistency in, as well as average levels of, risk taking behaviour (i.e. boldness) when individuals were tested alone affects social interactions when fish were retested in groups of 2 and 4. Behavioural consistency, independently of average levels of risk-taking, can be advantageous: more consistent individuals showed higher rates of initiating group movements as leaders, more behavioural coordination by joining others as followers, and greater food consumption. Our results have implications for both group decision making, as groups composed of consistent individuals are more cohesive, and personality traits, as social interactions can have functional consequences for consistency in behaviour and hence the evolution of personality variation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The effect of personality trait scores on following (the time delay between initiators and non-initiators) in two fish trials.Filled circles are observed data. The colours represent the non-initiator’s consistency score (a) and non-initiator’s boldness score (b), binned every 0.5 units of each score. Coloured lines are fits for each binned interval, calculated from the coefficients of the GLMM which includes the two significant interaction terms (Table S1; note that the models use continuous, not binned, data). The main effect of trial order is fixed at its mean value in the data, as is the value of non-initiator boldness in (a), and non-initiator consistency in (b).
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f4: The effect of personality trait scores on following (the time delay between initiators and non-initiators) in two fish trials.Filled circles are observed data. The colours represent the non-initiator’s consistency score (a) and non-initiator’s boldness score (b), binned every 0.5 units of each score. Coloured lines are fits for each binned interval, calculated from the coefficients of the GLMM which includes the two significant interaction terms (Table S1; note that the models use continuous, not binned, data). The main effect of trial order is fixed at its mean value in the data, as is the value of non-initiator boldness in (a), and non-initiator consistency in (b).

Mentions: The time taken between the first (initiator) and second (non-initiator) fish leaving the refuge can be used to measure cohesion and coordination between the two, with initiators only being effective leaders when they are followed426. In two-fish trials, consistent non-initiators followed quickly regardless of the boldness of the initiator, whereas less consistent non-initiators only left soon after the initiator when paired with bold initiators (Fig. 4a; negative binomial GLMM, n = 24: initiator boldness × non-initiator consistency: χ21,15 = 4.23, P = 0.040). There was also a significant interaction between the boldness scores of the two fish, with non-initiators with a high boldness score only following bold initiators quickly, while shy non-initiators followed more quickly in general and tended to delay following bold initiators (Fig. 4b; initiator boldness × non-initiator boldness: χ21,15 = 5.58, P = 0.018).


Individuals that are consistent in risk-taking benefit during collective foraging
The effect of personality trait scores on following (the time delay between initiators and non-initiators) in two fish trials.Filled circles are observed data. The colours represent the non-initiator’s consistency score (a) and non-initiator’s boldness score (b), binned every 0.5 units of each score. Coloured lines are fits for each binned interval, calculated from the coefficients of the GLMM which includes the two significant interaction terms (Table S1; note that the models use continuous, not binned, data). The main effect of trial order is fixed at its mean value in the data, as is the value of non-initiator boldness in (a), and non-initiator consistency in (b).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037426&req=5

f4: The effect of personality trait scores on following (the time delay between initiators and non-initiators) in two fish trials.Filled circles are observed data. The colours represent the non-initiator’s consistency score (a) and non-initiator’s boldness score (b), binned every 0.5 units of each score. Coloured lines are fits for each binned interval, calculated from the coefficients of the GLMM which includes the two significant interaction terms (Table S1; note that the models use continuous, not binned, data). The main effect of trial order is fixed at its mean value in the data, as is the value of non-initiator boldness in (a), and non-initiator consistency in (b).
Mentions: The time taken between the first (initiator) and second (non-initiator) fish leaving the refuge can be used to measure cohesion and coordination between the two, with initiators only being effective leaders when they are followed426. In two-fish trials, consistent non-initiators followed quickly regardless of the boldness of the initiator, whereas less consistent non-initiators only left soon after the initiator when paired with bold initiators (Fig. 4a; negative binomial GLMM, n = 24: initiator boldness × non-initiator consistency: χ21,15 = 4.23, P = 0.040). There was also a significant interaction between the boldness scores of the two fish, with non-initiators with a high boldness score only following bold initiators quickly, while shy non-initiators followed more quickly in general and tended to delay following bold initiators (Fig. 4b; initiator boldness × non-initiator boldness: χ21,15 = 5.58, P = 0.018).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

It is well established that living in groups helps animals avoid predation and locate resources, but maintaining a group requires collective coordination, which can be difficult when individuals differ from one another. Personality variation (consistent behavioural differences within a population) is already known to be important in group interactions. Growing evidence suggests that individuals also differ in their consistency, i.e. differing in how variable they are over time, and theoretical models predict that this consistency can be beneficial in social contexts. We used three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to test whether the consistency in, as well as average levels of, risk taking behaviour (i.e. boldness) when individuals were tested alone affects social interactions when fish were retested in groups of 2 and 4. Behavioural consistency, independently of average levels of risk-taking, can be advantageous: more consistent individuals showed higher rates of initiating group movements as leaders, more behavioural coordination by joining others as followers, and greater food consumption. Our results have implications for both group decision making, as groups composed of consistent individuals are more cohesive, and personality traits, as social interactions can have functional consequences for consistency in behaviour and hence the evolution of personality variation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus