Behavioural consistency and life history of Rana dalmatina tadpoles

Tamás János Urszán, J. Török, Attila Hettyey, László Zsolt Garamszegi, G. Herczeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The focus of evolutionary behavioural ecologists has recently turned towards understanding the causes and consequences of behavioural consistency, manifesting either as animal personality (consistency in a single behaviour) or behavioural syndrome (consistency across more behaviours). Behavioural type (mean individual behaviour) has been linked to life-history strategies, leading to the emergence of the integrated pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) theory. Using Rana dalmatina tadpoles as models, we tested if behavioural consistency and POLS could be detected during the early ontogenesis of this amphibian. We targeted two ontogenetic stages and measured activity, exploration and risk-taking in a common garden experiment, assessing both individual behavioural type and intra-individual behavioural variation. We observed that activity was consistent in all tadpoles, exploration only became consistent with advancing age and risk-taking only became consistent in tadpoles that had been tested, and thus disturbed, earlier. Only previously tested tadpoles showed trends indicative of behavioural syndromes. We found an activity—age at metamorphosis POLS in the previously untested tadpoles irrespective of age. Relative growth rate correlated positively with the intra-individual variation of activity of the previously untested older tadpoles. In previously tested older tadpoles, intra-individual variation of exploration correlated negatively and intra-individual variation of risk-taking correlated positively with relative growth rate. We provide evidence for behavioural consistency and POLS in predator- and conspecific-naive tadpoles. Intra-individual behavioural variation was also correlated to life history, suggesting its relevance for the POLS theory. The strong effect of moderate disturbance related to standard behavioural testing on later behaviour draws attention to the pitfalls embedded in repeated testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalOecologia
Volume178
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015

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Rana
tadpoles
individual variation
life history
metamorphosis
amphibian
garden
predator
disturbance
animal
ecologists
gardens
ontogeny
amphibians
experiment
testing
predators

Keywords

  • Animal personality
  • Behavioural syndrome
  • Intra-individual behavioural variation
  • Pace-of-life syndrome
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Behavioural consistency and life history of Rana dalmatina tadpoles. / Urszán, Tamás János; Török, J.; Hettyey, Attila; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Herczeg, G.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 178, No. 1, 01.05.2015, p. 129-140.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Urszán, Tamás János ; Török, J. ; Hettyey, Attila ; Garamszegi, László Zsolt ; Herczeg, G. / Behavioural consistency and life history of Rana dalmatina tadpoles. In: Oecologia. 2015 ; Vol. 178, No. 1. pp. 129-140.
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