Personality and artificial light at night in a semi-urban songbird population : no evidence for personality-dependent sampling bias, avoidance or disruptive effects on sleep behaviour
Light pollution or artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasing, worldwide challenge that affects many aspects of animal behaviour. Interestingly, the response to ALAN varies widely among individuals within a population and variation in personality (consistent individual differences in behaviour) may be an important factor explaining this variation. Consistent individual differences in exploration behaviour in particular may relate to the response to ALAN, as increasing evidence indicates its relation with how individuals respond to novelty and how they cope with anthropogenic modifications of the environment. Here, we assayed exploration behaviour in a novel environment as a proxy for personality variation in great tits (Parus major). We observed individual sleep behaviour over two consecutive nights, with birds sleeping under natural dark conditions the first night and confronted with ALAN inside the nest box on the second night, representing a modified and novel roosting environment. We examined whether roosting decisions when confronted with a camera (novel object), and subsequently with ALAN, were personality-dependent, as this could potentially create sampling bias. Finally, we assessed whether experimentally challenging individuals with ALAN induced personality-dependent changes in sleep behaviour. Slow and fast explorers were equally likely to roost in a nest box when confronted with either a camera or artificial light inside, indicating the absence of personality-dependent sampling bias or avoidance of exposure to ALAN. Moreover, slow and fast explorers were equally disrupted in their sleep behaviour when challenged with ALAN. Whether other behavioural and physiological effects of ALAN are personality-dependent remains to be determined. Moreover, the sensitivity to disturbance of different behavioural types might depend on the behavioural context and the specific type of challenge in question. In our increasingly urbanized world, determining whether the effects of anthropogenic stressors depend on personality type will be of paramount importance as it may affect population dynamics.
Source (journal)
Environmental pollution. - London
London : 2018
243:B(2018), p. 1317-1324
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Metal Pollution and Oxidative Stress: Exploring effects on aging rate, behavior and fitness.
Short and long term effects of light pollution on the great tit (Parus major) and the effectiveness of mitigating strategies.
Short and long term effects of light pollution on the great tit (Parus major) and the effectiveness of mitigating strategies.
The female perspective of personality variation in a wild songbird: integrating female competition within life history
Effects of light pollution on behavioural, life-history and physiological traits in a songbird: an integrative approach.
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Web of Science
Creation 16.10.2018
Last edited 16.07.2021
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