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Personality-specific carry-over effects on breeding

Cite this dataset

Harris, Steph et al. (2020). Personality-specific carry-over effects on breeding [Dataset]. Dryad.


Carry-over effects describe the phenomenon whereby an animal’s previous conditions influence its subsequent performance. Carry-over effects are unlikely to affect individuals uniformly, but the factors modulating their strength are poorly known. Variation in the strength of carry-over effects may reflect individual differences in pace-of-life: slow-paced, shyly behaved individuals are thought to favour allocation to self-maintenance over current reproduction, compared to their fast-paced, boldly behaved conspecifics (the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis). Therefore, detectable carry-over effects on breeding should be weaker in bolder individuals, as they should maintain allocation to reproduction irrespective of previous conditions, while shy individuals should experience stronger carry-over effects. We tested this prediction in black-legged kittiwakes breeding in Svalbard. Using miniature biologging devices, we measured non-breeding activity of kittiwakes, and monitored their subsequent breeding performance. We report a number of negative carry-over effects of non-breeding activity on breeding, which were generally stronger in shyer individuals: more active winters were followed by later breeding phenology and poorer breeding performance in shy birds, but these effects were weaker or undetected in bolder individuals. Our study quantifies individual variability in the strength of carry-over effects on breeding, and provides a mechanism explaining widespread differences in individual reproductive success.

Usage notes

ReadMe file is attached, containing a key to all the variables in the four CSV files