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Personality and urbanization: behavioural traits and DRD4 SNP830 polymorphisms in great tits in Barcelona city
Nat Hist Museum Barcelona, Evolutionary & Behav Ecol Res Unit, Psg Picasso S-N, Barcelona 08003, Spain..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Univ Texas Austin, Sect Integrat Biol, Austin, TX 78712 USA.;Univ Konstanz, Max Planck Inst Ornithol, Dept Collect Behav, Constance, Germany..
Nat Hist Museum Barcelona, Evolutionary & Behav Ecol Res Unit, Psg Picasso S-N, Barcelona 08003, Spain..
2017 (English)In: Journal of ethology, ISSN 0289-0771, E-ISSN 1439-5444, Vol. 35, no 1, 101-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most examples of adaptation to the urban environment relate to plasticity processes rather than to natural selection. Personality, however, defined as consistent individual differences in behaviour related to exploration, caution, and neophobia, is a good behavioural candidate character to study natural selection in relation to the urban habitat due to its heritable variation. The aim of this paper was to analyse variation in personality by comparing urban and forest great tits Parus major using standard tests of exploratory behaviour and boldness. We studied personality in 130 wild great tits captured in Barcelona city and nearby forests and found that urban birds were more explorative and bolder towards a novel object than forest birds. Genotype frequencies of the DRD4 SNP830 polymorphism, a gene region often associated with personality variation, varied significantly between forest and urban birds. Behavioural scores, however, were not correlated with this polymorphism in our population. Exploration scores correlated to boldness for forest birds but not for urban birds. Our findings suggest that the novel selection pressures of the urban environment favour the decoupling of behavioural traits that commonly form behavioural syndromes in the wild.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 35, no 1, 101-108 p.
Keyword [en]
Parus major, Urban, Boldness, Exploratory behaviour, Candidate gene
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316057DOI: 10.1007/s10164-016-0496-2ISI: 000392031600012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-316057DiVA: diva2:1076773
Available from: 2017-02-23 Created: 2017-02-23 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, Mats

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