SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Behavioural syndromes have been identified in a large number of species, yet our understanding of them in an ecological context remains poor. Specifically, there are few data that relate behavioural syndromes to other biologically important behaviours and, ultimately, to reproductive success. In this field study, we examined the aggressiveness and boldness of free-living male house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) and found a statistically significant positive relationship between these two behaviours (i.e. a behavioural syndrome). When we examined the two axes of this behavioural syndrome in relation to the male's share of provisioning, we found a negative relation between a male's aggressiveness and his provisioning rate, but no relationship between male boldness and provisioning behaviour. These differences in provisioning behaviour among males with different levels of aggression may reflect differences in reproductive strategies or different life-history trade-offs among males. Moreover, these results indicate that while some behavioural traits may be correlated, this does not mean that traits that compose the behavioural syndrome cannot evolve independently of one another.