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Data from: Fitness consequences of boldness in juvenile and adult largemouth bass

Cite this dataset

Ballew, Nicholas G.; Mittelbach, Gary G.; Scribner, Kim T. (2016). Data from: Fitness consequences of boldness in juvenile and adult largemouth bass [Dataset]. Dryad.


To date, most studies investigating the relationship between personality traits and fitness have focused on a single measure of fitness (such as survival) at a specific life stage. However, many personality traits likely have multiple effects on fitness, potentially operating across different functional contexts and stages of development. Here, we address the fitness consequences of boldness, under seminatural conditions, across life stages and functional contexts in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Specifically, we report the effect of boldness on (1) juvenile survivorship in an outdoor pond containing natural prey and predators and (2) adult reproductive success in three outdoor ponds across three reproductive seasons (years). Juvenile survival was negatively affected by boldness, with bolder juveniles having a lower probability of survival than shyer juveniles. In contrast, bolder adult male bass had greater reproductive success than their shyer male counterparts. Female reproductive success was not affected by boldness. These findings demonstrate that boldness can affect fitness differently across life stages. Further, boldness was highly consistent across years and significantly heritable, which suggests that boldness has a genetic component. Thus, our results support theory suggesting that fitness trade-offs across life stages may contribute to the maintenance of personality variation within populations.

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