Jon E. Brommer and Edward Kluen Exploring the genetics of nestling personality traits in a wild passerine bird: testing the phenotypic gambit Ecology and Evolution 2
A young blue tit is taken from a paper bag, where it spent some minutes in isolation, to be assayed for three aspects of its personality. By splitting the broods of families such that part of the offspring are reared by foster parents, the authors of this study demonstrate how both ‘nature’ (genes) and ‘nurture’ (rearing) contribute about equally to the development of blue tit personality traits. The design further allowed to estimate the genetic correlation between the personality traits. Encouragingly, this genetic correlation is captured reasonably well by the phenotypic correlation, which is an assumption (the 'phenotypic gambit') underlying much of current animal personality research.
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