Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Social environments have an important effect on a range of ecological processes, and form a crucial component of selection. However, little is known of the link between personality, social behaviour and population structure. We combine a well-understood personality trait with large-scale social networks in wild songbirds, and show that personality underpins multiple aspects of social organisation. First, we demonstrate a relationship between network centrality and personality with 'proactive' (fast-exploring) individuals associating weakly with greater numbers of conspecifics and moving between flocks. Second, temporal stability of associations relates to personality: 'reactive' (slow-exploring) birds form synergistically stable relationships. Finally, we show that personality influences social structure, with males non-randomly distributed across groups. These results provide strong evidence that songbirds follow alternative social strategies related to personality. This has implications not only for the causes of social network structure but also for the strength and direction of selection on personality in natural populations.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/ele.12181

Type

Journal article

Journal

Ecol Lett

Publication Date

11/2013

Volume

16

Pages

1365 - 1372

Keywords

Behavioural syndrome, Paridae, personality, social behaviour, social network theory, Animals, Animals, Wild, Behavior, Animal, Female, Male, Models, Theoretical, Passeriformes, Personality, Social Behavior, Time Factors