Data from: Personality and plasticity in neophobia levels vary with anthropogenic disturbance but not toxic metal exposure in urban great tits: urban disturbance, metal pollution and neophobia
Grunst, Andrea S., University of Antwerp
Grunst, Melissa L., University of Antwerp
Pinxten, Rianne, University of Antwerp
Eens, Marcel, University of Antwerp
Published Dec 19, 2018 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Grunst, Andrea S.; Grunst, Melissa L.; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel (2018). Data from: Personality and plasticity in neophobia levels vary with anthropogenic disturbance but not toxic metal exposure in urban great tits: urban disturbance, metal pollution and neophobia [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1r004vb
Animal personalities, as defined by repeatable among individual differences in behavior, can vary across urbanization gradients. However, how urbanization affects personalities remains incompletely understood, especially because different urban stressors could affect personality traits in opposing ways, whereas most previous studies have considered only one urban disturbance factor. For instance, novel habitat features could favor reduced neophobia, whereas exposure to pollutants could increase risk sensitivity through neurotoxic or hormonal effects. To address this contingency, we studied object neophobia in four urban populations of great tits (Parus major) that vary in exposure to metal pollution and anthropogenic disturbance, as quantified by proximity to roads and pathways. We measured the return latency of incubating females when flushed from the nest and presented with up to two different novel objects, allowing quantification of behavioral repeatability and plasticity. To separate neophobia from sensitivity to disturbance, we also conducted baseline trials, in which females were flushed but no object was presented. We additionally measured exploration behavior and aggression (hissing) during nest defense, to explore whether suites of behaviors covary with urbanization, and examined whether neophobia affects reproductive success. Sensitivity to disturbance and neophobia were repeatable, and thus represent personality traits. Moreover, females occupying territories near roads and pathways had shorter return latencies during novel object but not baseline trials, suggesting a specific reduction in neophobia in disturbed areas. Plasticity in neophobia also increased with disturbance level. In contrast, metal exposure did not affect neophobia or sensitivity to disturbance, despite negatively correlating with exploration behavior. Neophobia correlated with exploration behavior, but not aggression or reproductive success. Results suggest that shifts in personality types in urbanized areas might involve specific reductions in neophobia, rather than general reductions in sensitivity to disturbance, and unexpectedly indicate no effect of toxic metals on risk sensitivity.
Data for-Personality and plasticity in neophobia levels vary with anthropogenic disturbance but not toxic metal exposure in urban great tits
This file contains data from a novel object test performed on incubating female great tits in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2018, to test for effects of toxic metal pollution and anthropogenic disturbance levels on neophobia and other behavioral traits. Incubating females were presented with up to two different novel objects which were placed on the top of the nest box. We recorded the latency of females to return to the nest ("On 1" in the file) in the presence of a novel object, after being flushed from the nest. To account for differences in sensitivity to disturbance at the nest, the return latency of all females was also recorded during a baseline trial, in which females were flushed from the nest, but no novel object was placed on top of the box. The file contains information on trial type (O = object, B = baseline), female ID, study site, nest box ID, distance from the metal pollution source, distance from public paths/roads, and whether or not the box was in a publicly accessible area for all trials. Nest date, recording time, the order of trials and female age (ASY=after second year, SY=second year) are also included. The column "On 1" contains return latencies, and was our primary response variable. Female novel environment exploration scores and hissing (nest defense) scores are also included, as are fledgling numbers. This data was used to assess relationships between neophobia, other behavioral traits, and fitness.