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Data from: Habitat urbanization and stress response are primary predictors of personality variation in Northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Citation

Huang, Ping; St. Mary, Colette; Kimball, Rebecca (2020), Data from: Habitat urbanization and stress response are primary predictors of personality variation in Northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.47d7wm38j

Abstract

Behavioral traits that vary consistently among individuals across different contexts are often termed as personality traits. The correlated suite formed by those traits, called a ‘behavioral syndrome’, can provide a more comprehensive way to view animal behavior. Both extrinsic and intrinsic ‘states’ (defined as strategically relevant individual features affecting the cost-and-benefit trade-offs of behavioral actions) have the potential to shape among-individual variation in personality traits, as well as behavioral syndromes. Here, we used Northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) sampled from four locations to examine the effect of habitat type (an extrinsic state), stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) parameters, body weight and sex (intrinsic states) on personality traits and behavioral syndrome variation. We used behavioral trials to measure five personality traits. Using principle component analysis (PCA) followed by general linear mixed model (GLMM), we found that habitat type, baseline CORT and CORT short-term response affected some personality traits, while body weights and sex did not. Cardinals inhabiting more urbanized areas with lower baseline CORT levels were more neophilic, less neophobic and also less aggressive than their rural conspecifics. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we also found that urban and rural cardinals varied in the models representing syndrome structure. When utilizing the shared syndrome structural model to examine the effects of states, habitat type and CORT short-term response appear to affect syndrome variation in a coordinated, not hierarchical, manner.

Methods

Original behavioral measurements and calculated personality scores of Northern cardinals