No relationship between chronotype and timing of breeding when variation in daily activity patterns across the breeding season is taken into account
Cite this dataset
Meijdam, Marjolein; Müller, Wendt; Thys, Bert; Eens, Marcel (2022). No relationship between chronotype and timing of breeding when variation in daily activity patterns across the breeding season is taken into account [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2rbnzs7rk
There is increasing evidence that individuals are consistent in the timing of their daily activities, and that individual variation in temporal behaviour is related to the timing of reproduction. However, it remains unclear whether observed patterns relate to the timing of the onset of activity or whether an early onset of activity extends the time that is available for foraging. This may then again facilitate reproduction. Furthermore, the timing of activity onset and offset may vary across the breeding season, which may complicate studying the above mentioned relationships. Here, we examined in a wild population of great tits (Parus major) whether an early clutch initiation date may be related to an early onset of activity and/or to longer active daylengths. We also investigated how these parameters are affected by the date of measurement. In order to test these hypotheses we measured emergence and entry time from/into the nest box as proxies for activity onset and offset in females during the egg laying phase. We then determined active daylength. Both emergence time and active daylength were related to clutch initiation date. However, a more detailed analysis showed that the timing of activities with respect to sunrise and sunset varied throughout the breeding season both within and among individuals. The observed positive relationships are hence potentially statistical artifacts. After methodologically correcting for this date effect, by using data from the pre-egg laying phase, where all individuals were measured on the same days, neither of the relationships remained significant. Taking methodological pitfalls and temporal variation into account may hence be crucial for understanding the significance of chronotypes.
All details about the data collection are described in Meijdam, M., Müller, W., Thys, B., Eens, M. (2022). No relationship between chronotype and timing of breeding when variation in daily activity patterns across the breeding season is taken into account. Ecology and Evolution.
All data are in plain text files, the data analysis was performed in R and the README file is in pdf format.
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, Award: G0A3615N
Universiteit Antwerpen, Award: G052117N