SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • exploration;
  • feeding latency;
  • life-history trade-offs;
  • pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis;
  • principal component analysis;
  • productivity

Several hypotheses have been proposed to account for the adaptive evolution of personality, defined as inter-individual differences in behaviour that are consistent over time and across situations. For instance, the ‘pace-of-life syndrome’ hypothesis suggests that personality evolved as a behavioural correlate of life-history trajectories that vary within populations. Thus, proactivity, corresponding to higher exploratory tendencies or higher boldness levels, has been linked to higher productivity or mortality rates. However, the extent to which proactivity is associated with a higher motivation to forage remains poorly understood. Moreover, although personality and its effects on foraging behaviour are usually considered to be independent of any motivational or nutritional state, few studies so far have challenged this. Here we show that personality traits, both individually or combined using a principal component analysis, and body condition have additive effects on latency to feed following food deprivation in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata, with personality accounting for 41% and body condition for about 20% of the total variation in latency to feed. In accordance with the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis, latency to feed was negatively related to the degree of proactivity and positively related to body condition. Thus, proactive individuals and individuals in poorer condition were quicker to start feeding after a period of food deprivation. The absence of a significant interaction between personality and body condition further suggests that the effect of personality was independent of body condition. We discuss the relevance of our results in relation to the different factors influencing foraging in birds. Moreover, we place our results within a life-history framework by emphasizing the correlated evolution of life-history traits and personality.