Exploring the genetics of nestling personality traits in a wild passerine bird: testing the phenotypic gambit

Jon Brommer, Edward Kluen

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


    When several personality traits covary, they form a behavioral syndrome.
    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of a behavioral syndrome requires
    knowledge of its genetic underpinning. At present, our understanding of the
    genetic basis of behavioral syndromes is largely restricted to domestic and laboratory
    animals. Wild behavioral syndromes are mostly inferred on the basis of
    phenotypic correlations, and thus make the “phenotypic gambit” of assuming
    that these phenotypic correlations capture the underlying genetic correlations.
    On the basis of 3 years of reciprocal cross-fostering of 2896 nestlings of 271
    families within a pedigreed population, we show that the nestling personality
    traits handling aggression, breathing rate, and docility are heritable (h2 = 16–29%),
    and often have a pronounced “nest-of-rearing” variance component (10–15%),
    but a relatively small “nest-of-origin” variance component (0–7%). The three
    nestling personality traits form a behavioral syndrome on the phenotypic and
    genetic level. Overall, the phenotypic correlations provide a satisfactory description
    of the genetic ones, but significantly underestimate the magnitude of one
    of the pairwise genetic correlations, which mirrors the conclusion based on
    domestic and laboratory studies.
    TidskriftEcology and Evolution
    Sidor (från-till)3032-3044
    Antal sidor13
    StatusPublicerad - 2012
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


    • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi

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