Understanding the background mechanisms affecting the emergence and maintenance of consistent between-individual variation within population in single (animal personality) or across multiple (behavioural syndrome) behaviours has key importance. State-dependence theory suggests that behaviour is ‘anchored’ to individual state (e.g. body condition, gender, age) and behavioural consistency emerges through behavioural-state feedbacks. A number of relevant state variables are labile (e.g. body condition, physiological performance) and expected to be affected by short-term environmental change. Yet, whether short-term environmental shifts affect behavioural consistency during adulthood remains questionable. Here, by employing a full-factorial laboratory experiment, we explored if quantity of food (low vs. high) and time available for thermoregulation (3h vs. 10h per day) had an effect on activity and risk-taking of reproductive adult male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis). We focussed on different components of behavioural variation: (i) strength of behavioural consistency (repeatability for animal personality; between-individual correlation for behavioural syndrome), (ii) behavioural type (individual mean behaviour) and (iii) behavioural predictability (within-individual behavioural variation). Activity was repeatable in all treatments. Risk-taking was repeatable only in the low basking treatments. We found significant between-individual correlation only in the low food × long basking time group. The treatments did not affect behavioural type, but affected behavioural predictability. Activity predictability was higher in the short basking treatment, where it also decreased with size ( age). Risk-taking predictability in the short basking treatment increased with size under food limitation, but decreased when food supply was high. We conclude that short-term environmental change can alter various components of behavioural consistency. The effect could be detected in the presence/absence patterns of animal personality and behavioural syndrome and the level of individual behavioural predictability, but not in behavioural type.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)