Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes

Würz Y, Krüger O (2015)
Frontiers in Zoology 12(Suppl 1): S9.

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Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
A crucial assumption of animal personality research is that behaviour is consistent over time, showing a high repeatability within individuals. This assumption is often made, sometimes tested using short time intervals between behavioural tests, but rarely thoroughly investigated across long time intervals crossing different stages of ontogeny. We performed such a longitudinal test across three life stages in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), representing about 15-20% of their life span in captivity, and found repeatabilities ranging from 0.03 to 0.67. Fearlessness and exploration were the most repeatable traits both within and across life stages. Activity and aggression were repeatable across, but not or only partly within life stages. Boldness was not repeatable. Furthermore, we found no evidence for a consistent behavioural syndrome structure across ontogeny. Our results indicate that the consistency of behavioural traits and their correlations might be overestimated and suggest that life-long stability of animal personality should not simply be assumed.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Würz Y, Krüger O. Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes. Frontiers in Zoology. 2015;12(Suppl 1): S9.
Würz, Y., & Krüger, O. (2015). Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes. Frontiers in Zoology, 12(Suppl 1): S9.
Würz, Y., and Krüger, O. (2015). Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes. Frontiers in Zoology 12:S9.
Würz, Y., & Krüger, O., 2015. Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes. Frontiers in Zoology, 12(Suppl 1): S9.
Y. Würz and O. Krüger, “Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes”, Frontiers in Zoology, vol. 12, 2015, : S9.
Würz, Y., Krüger, O.: Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes. Frontiers in Zoology. 12, : S9 (2015).
Würz, Yvonne, and Krüger, Oliver. “Personality over ontogeny in zebra finches: long-term repeatable traits but unstable behavioural syndromes”. Frontiers in Zoology 12.Suppl 1 (2015): S9.
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