Heterogeneous selection is often proposed as a key mechanism maintaining repeatable behavioral variation ("animal personality") in wild populations. Previous studies largely focused on temporal variation in selection within single populations. The relative importance of spatial versus temporal variation remains unexplored, despite these processes having distinct effects on local adaptation. Using data from >3,500 great tits (Parus major) and 35 nest box plots situated within five West-European populations monitored over 4 to 18 y, we show that selection on exploration behavior varies primarily spatially, across populations, and study plots within populations. Exploration was, simultaneously, selectively neutral in the average population and year. These findings imply that spatial variation in selectionmay represent a primarymechanism maintaining animal personalities, likely promoting the evolution of local adaptation, phenotype-dependent dispersal, and nonrandom settlement. Selection also varied within populations among years, which may counteract local adaptation. Our study underlines the importance of combining multiple spatiotemporal scales in the study of behavioral adaptation.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Animal personality
- Fluctuating selection
- Integrative fitness
- Local adaptation
- Macro-spatial variation