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Title: Parasitism and the evolutionary ecology of animal personality.
Authors: Barber, I
Dingemanse, NJ
First Published: 27-Dec-2010
Citation: PHILOS TRANS R SOC LOND B BIOL SCI, 2010, 365 (1560), pp. 4077-4088
Abstract: The ecological factors responsible for the evolution of individual differences in animal personality (consistent individual differences in the same behaviour across time and contexts) are currently the subject of intense debate. A limited number of ecological factors have been investigated to date, with most attention focusing on the roles of resource competition and predation. We suggest here that parasitism may play a potentially important, but largely overlooked, role in the evolution of animal personalities. We identify two major routes by which parasites might influence the evolution of animal personality. First, because the risk of acquiring parasites can be influenced by an individual's behavioural type, local parasite regimes may impose selection on personality traits and behavioural syndromes (correlations between personality traits). Second, because parasite infections have consequences for aspects of host 'state', parasites might induce the evolution of individual differences in certain types of host behaviour in populations with endemic infections. Also, because infection often leads to specific changes in axes of personality, parasite infections have the potential to decouple behavioural syndromes. Host-parasite systems therefore provide researchers with valuable tools to study personality variation and behavioural syndromes from a proximate and ultimate perspective.
DOI Link: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0182
eISSN: 1471-2970
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Biology

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