Heterogeneous selection on exploration behavior within and among West European populations of a passerine bird

Alexia Mouchet (Corresponding author), Ella F. Cole, Erik Matthysen, Marion Nicolaus, John L. Quinn, Allison M. Roth, Joost M. Tinbergen, Kees van Oers, Thijs van Overveld, Niels J. Dingemanse

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2024994118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Animal personality
  • Fluctuating selection
  • Integrative fitness
  • Local adaptation
  • Macro-spatial variation
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant_NO

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