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Inter-individual variation in movement: is there a mobility syndrome in the large white butterfly Pieris brassicae?

Authors

  • SIMON DUCATEZ,

    Corresponding author
    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
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  • DELPHINE LEGRAND,

    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
    2. Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis, CNRS USR 2936, 09200 Saint-Girons, France
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  • AUDREY CHAPUT-BARDY,

    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
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  • VIRGINIE M. STEVENS,

    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
    2. Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis, CNRS USR 2936, 09200 Saint-Girons, France
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  • HELENE FRÉVILLE,

    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
    2. CEFE CNRS UMR 5175, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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  • MICHEL BAGUETTE

    1. Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris cedex 5, France
    2. Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis, CNRS USR 2936, 09200 Saint-Girons, France
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Simon Ducatez, Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 avenue Docteur Penfield, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 1B1. E-mail: simon.ducatez@mail.mcgill.ca

Abstract

1. One of the main drivers of the genesis and maintenance of biodiversity is mobility, i.e. the net result of the interaction between physiological performances (movement capacity) and behavioural decisions (movement decisions). Although several previous studies have found personality traits related to mobility, it is not yet clear whether mobility involves a real syndrome, i.e. whether individuals showing good movement capacity are also more likely to decide to move, and whether these inter-individual differences are consistent across time.

2. The aim of the present study was therefore to disentangle the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of inter-individual variation in mobility by measuring three traits related to mobility under experimental conditions in a butterfly species, and to test the existence of correlations between these traits. These measures implied movement capacity and movement decision.

3. It was shown that mobility-related traits were (i) consistent across time, (ii) inter-correlated, and (iii) dependent upon sex and morphology.

4. These results therefore suggest the existence of a mobility syndrome in a butterfly. Such findings highlight the necessity to accurately integrate inter-individual variation (behavioural syndrome) in our comprehension of the evolution of movement strategies.

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