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Data from: Predator abundance drives the association between exploratory personality and foraging habitat risk in a wild marine meso-predator.


Dhellemmes, Félicie et al. (2021), Data from: Predator abundance drives the association between exploratory personality and foraging habitat risk in a wild marine meso-predator., Dryad, Dataset,


1. In recent years, the incorporation of lower levels of organization to the understanding of population ecology, has led to an increase in interest for animal personality and individual foraging specialization. Despite these topics investigating comparable phenomena, i.e. individual consistency in behavior and in food resource use respectively, they have rarely been investigated together.

2. Food resource use is thought to be at the interface between personality and life-history. More explorative individuals in a population, for example, are thought to increase encounter rates with food resources and consequently have faster growth than less explorative conspecifics.

3. Such hypotheses have so far only received partial support, and the link between personality and life-history is increasingly speculated to be plastic and dependent on spatio-temporal variation in ecological conditions. Intra-specific competition and/or predation risk, for example are known to influence foraging specialization.

4. Here, we investigated the relationship between exploration personality of juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) (measured in captivity) and foraging habitat use (high risk vs low risk; measured via stable isotope analysis in the field) in relation to conspecific and predator abundance.

5. We identified predator abundance as the main driver for the association between foraging habitat and exploration personality. When predators were less abundant, increased exploration was associated with foraging in riskier habitats. When predator abundance increased, an inverse relationship occurred, with less explorative individuals using more dangerous habitat.

6. We conclude that the relationship between personality and resource use is plastic and context dependent, which could explain the inconclusive results of previous studies investigating links between personality and life-history.

Usage Notes

Dataset: Fun-eco-driver-data.txt

Nursery: Area of capture (Either "Bimini - NS" (North Sound) or "Bimini - SL" (Sharkland))

Year: year of capture

Pop.size: Number of sharks captured for a year and a Nursery

Predator abundance: relative abundance of predators (Carcharhinus leucas, Carcharhinus limbatus and Negaprion brevirostris) for a year and a Nursery

Dataset: Fun-eco-SI-data.txt

ID: Unique individual identifier

Sex: Sex

Year: year of capture

Nursery: Area of capture (Either "Bimini - NS" (North Sound) or "Bimini - SL" (Sharkland))

PCL: Pre-caudal length, nearest mm

d13c: Carbon stable isotope value

Explo: exploration score in a captive novel-open field test


Save Our Seas Foundation, Award: SOS 367