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Why behavioural syndromes exist: testing the constraint and adaptive hypotheses

Wijnhorst, R. E. (2017) Why behavioural syndromes exist: testing the constraint and adaptive hypotheses. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Suites of correlated, functionally different, behaviour (‘behavioural syndrome’) have been described in many animal populations across different taxa. Yet, the existence of behavioural syndromes are puzzling from an evolutionary view as the tendency to behave consistently in multiple integrated behavioural traits may lead to suboptimal, even seemingly maladaptive, actions. Two hypotheses have been proposed to why behavioural syndromes occur. The constraint hypothesis suggests that syndromes originate from a carryover effect of a genetic correlation, which is not easily eradicated by evolution, thus constraining adaptation. In contrast the adaptive hypothesis states that behavioural syndromes result from an adaptive advantage a correlation might provide in a suitable environment. Several studies have been able to reject the constraint hypothesis, without making clear how syndromes can be adaptive. I will provide a review of approaches which have been used to test the two hypotheses with the goal to find out why studies have not provided a solid explanation why behavioural syndromes exist.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:31

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