Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits

Finkemeier M-A, Trillmich F, Günther A (2016)
Ethology 122(1): 80-93.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Behavioural differences between individuals are often found to be consistent across contexts and/or over time, although recent studies suggest that ontogenetic processes and learning might influence personality. During ontogeny, environmental influences may play an important role in shaping an individual's personality as well as its physiology. Seasonal changes are ubiquitous and known to influence development. To study developmental plasticity, of behaviour and physiology in the wild cavy (Cavia aperea), we manipulated the photoperiod in a fully crossed match-mismatch design by simulating spring and autumn photoperiod until weaning and subsequently moving half of the animals into the mismatching photoperiod. We found developmental plasticity in behavioural and physiological traits before and after sexual maturation for growth, resting metabolic rate and fearlessness. For fearlessness, changes in response to the opposite photoperiod were more pronounced in males than in females. Exploration and boldness were only influenced by early, but not by late photoperiod. No sex differences were found for these two traits. Even though our treatment changed average trait expression, some behavioural traits proved consistent over time, but physiological traits were not. Fearlessness was consistent only in animals that did not change photoperiod during development, whereas exploration and boldness were consistent over time regardless of photoperiodic treatment. Our study shows that in response to a change in photoperiod personality traits differ substantially in developmental plasticity.
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Finkemeier M-A, Trillmich F, Günther A. Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits. Ethology. 2016;122(1):80-93.
Finkemeier, M. - A., Trillmich, F., & Günther, A. (2016). Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits. Ethology, 122(1), 80-93.
Finkemeier, M. - A., Trillmich, F., and Günther, A. (2016). Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits. Ethology 122, 80-93.
Finkemeier, M.-A., Trillmich, F., & Günther, A., 2016. Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits. Ethology, 122(1), p 80-93.
M.-A. Finkemeier, F. Trillmich, and A. Günther, “Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits”, Ethology, vol. 122, 2016, pp. 80-93.
Finkemeier, M.-A., Trillmich, F., Günther, A.: Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits. Ethology. 122, 80-93 (2016).
Finkemeier, Marie-Antonine, Trillmich, Fritz, and Günther, Anja. “Match-mismatch experiments using photoperiod expose developmental plasticity of personality traits”. Ethology 122.1 (2016): 80-93.
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