No evidence for correlational selection on exploratory behaviour and natal dispersal in the great tit
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Evolutionary ecology. - London
, p. 137-156
University of Antwerp
A growing number of studies have recently reported links between personality and dispersal, yet the adaptive significance of personality-dependent dispersal strategies still remain poorly understood. Here, we tested whether birds differing in exploratory behaviour (EB, quantified by a novel environment test), gain differential fitness benefits when remaining in or leaving their natal area in a natural population of great tits (Parus major). Using data on lifetime fecundity, we found no evidence that particular combinations of EB and dispersal lead to a higher fitness after settlement. In males, we found positive selection acting on EB through first-year survival, resulting in a positive relationship between EB and number of lifetime fledglings. However, contrary to expectation, these effects were only present in local recruits and not in immigrants. Male immigrants produced fewer fledglings during their lifetime than did local recruits, suggesting selection against dispersal at a scale exceeding the size of our study area. In females, we found selection on EB through recruitment with respect to year (i.e., negative, positive and stabilizing selection), but neither the strength nor the direction differed among birds with different dispersal strategies. We found no evidence in either sex for lifetime selection acting on EB using recruits as a measure of fitness. In conclusions, our results do not support the hypothesis that the co-expression of personality and dispersal is shaped by selection after settlement.