Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence (2022)

Behavioural variation within a species is usually explained as the consequence of individual variation in physiology. However, new evidence suggests that the arrow of causality may well be in the reverse direction: behaviours such as diet preferences cause the differences in physiological and morphological traits. Recently, diet preferences were proposed to underlie consistent differences in digestive organ mass and movement patterns (patch residence times) in red knots (Calidris canutus islandica). Red knots are molluscivorous and migrant shorebirds for which the size of the muscular stomach (gizzard) is critical for the food processing rate. In this study, red knots (C. c. canutus, n = 46) were caught at Banc d'Arguin, an intertidal flat ecosystem in Mauritania, and released with radio-tags after the measurement of gizzard mass. Using a novel tracking system (time-of-arrival), patch residence times were measured over a period of three weeks. Whether or not gizzard mass determined patch residence times was tested experimentally by offering 12 of the 46 tagged red knots soft diets prior to release; this reduced an individual's gizzard mass by 20-60%. To validate whether the observed range of patch residence times would be expected from individual diet preferences, we simulated patch residence times as a function of diet preferences via a simple departure rule. Consistent with previous empirical studies, patch residence times in the field were positively correlated with gizzard mass. The slope of this correlation, as well as the observed range of patch residence times, was in accordance with the simulated values. The 12 birds with reduced gizzard masses did not decrease patch residence times in response to the reduction in gizzard mass. These findings suggest that diet preferences can indeed cause the observed among-individual variation in gizzard mass and patch residence times. We discuss how early diet experiences can have cascading effects on the individual expression of both behavioural and physiomorphic traits. This emphasizes that to understand the ecological consequences of individual differences, knowledge of the environment during development is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378–1388
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume85
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2016
  • AFFECTS FORAGING DECISIONS
  • KNOTS CALIDRIS-CANUTUS
  • MARGINAL VALUE THEOREM
  • RED KNOTS
  • FOOD
  • SHOREBIRDS
  • CHOICE
  • SELECTION
  • EVOLUTIONARY;
  • PERSONALITY
  • Data from: Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence

    Oudman, T. (Creator), Bijleveld, A. (Creator), Kavelaars, M. M. (Creator), Dekinga, A. (Creator), Cluderay, J. (Creator), Piersma, T. (Creator) & van Gils, J. (Creator), University of Groningen, 5-Jul-2016

    DOI: 10.5061/dryad.2s8rr

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Oudman, T., Bijleveld, A. I., Kavelaars, M. M., Dekinga, A., Cluderay, J., Piersma, T., & van Gils, J. A. (2016). Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85(5), 1378–1388. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12549

Oudman, Thomas ; Bijleveld, Allert I. ; Kavelaars, Marwa M. ; Dekinga, Anne ; Cluderay, John ; Piersma, Theunis ; van Gils, Jan A. / Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence. In: Journal of Animal Ecology. 2016 ; Vol. 85, No. 5. pp. 1378–1388.

@article{c96694c89ceb4ca89b75503f24266f67,

title = "Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence",

abstract = "Behavioural variation within a species is usually explained as the consequence of individual variation in physiology. However, new evidence suggests that the arrow of causality may well be in the reverse direction: behaviours such as diet preferences cause the differences in physiological and morphological traits. Recently, diet preferences were proposed to underlie consistent differences in digestive organ mass and movement patterns (patch residence times) in red knots (Calidris canutus islandica). Red knots are molluscivorous and migrant shorebirds for which the size of the muscular stomach (gizzard) is critical for the food processing rate. In this study, red knots (C. c. canutus, n = 46) were caught at Banc d'Arguin, an intertidal flat ecosystem in Mauritania, and released with radio-tags after the measurement of gizzard mass. Using a novel tracking system (time-of-arrival), patch residence times were measured over a period of three weeks. Whether or not gizzard mass determined patch residence times was tested experimentally by offering 12 of the 46 tagged red knots soft diets prior to release; this reduced an individual's gizzard mass by 20-60%. To validate whether the observed range of patch residence times would be expected from individual diet preferences, we simulated patch residence times as a function of diet preferences via a simple departure rule. Consistent with previous empirical studies, patch residence times in the field were positively correlated with gizzard mass. The slope of this correlation, as well as the observed range of patch residence times, was in accordance with the simulated values. The 12 birds with reduced gizzard masses did not decrease patch residence times in response to the reduction in gizzard mass. These findings suggest that diet preferences can indeed cause the observed among-individual variation in gizzard mass and patch residence times. We discuss how early diet experiences can have cascading effects on the individual expression of both behavioural and physiomorphic traits. This emphasizes that to understand the ecological consequences of individual differences, knowledge of the environment during development is required.",

keywords = "AFFECTS FORAGING DECISIONS, KNOTS CALIDRIS-CANUTUS, MARGINAL VALUE THEOREM, RED KNOTS, FOOD, SHOREBIRDS, CHOICE, SELECTION, EVOLUTIONARY;, PERSONALITY",

author = "Thomas Oudman and Bijleveld, {Allert I.} and Kavelaars, {Marwa M.} and Anne Dekinga and John Cluderay and Theunis Piersma and {van Gils}, {Jan A.}",

note = "{\textcopyright} 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology {\textcopyright} 2016 British Ecological Society.",

year = "2016",

month = aug,

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language = "English",

volume = "85",

pages = "1378–1388",

journal = "Journal of Animal Ecology",

issn = "1365-2656",

publisher = "Wiley",

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Oudman, T, Bijleveld, AI, Kavelaars, MM, Dekinga, A, Cluderay, J, Piersma, T & van Gils, JA 2016, 'Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 85, no. 5, pp. 1378–1388. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12549

Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence. / Oudman, Thomas; Bijleveld, Allert I.; Kavelaars, Marwa M.; Dekinga, Anne; Cluderay, John; Piersma, Theunis; van Gils, Jan A.

In: Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 85, No. 5, 01.08.2016, p. 1378–1388.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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T1 - Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence

AU - Oudman, Thomas

AU - Bijleveld, Allert I.

AU - Kavelaars, Marwa M.

AU - Dekinga, Anne

AU - Cluderay, John

AU - Piersma, Theunis

AU - van Gils, Jan A.

N1 - © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

PY - 2016/8/1

Y1 - 2016/8/1

N2 - Behavioural variation within a species is usually explained as the consequence of individual variation in physiology. However, new evidence suggests that the arrow of causality may well be in the reverse direction: behaviours such as diet preferences cause the differences in physiological and morphological traits. Recently, diet preferences were proposed to underlie consistent differences in digestive organ mass and movement patterns (patch residence times) in red knots (Calidris canutus islandica). Red knots are molluscivorous and migrant shorebirds for which the size of the muscular stomach (gizzard) is critical for the food processing rate. In this study, red knots (C. c. canutus, n = 46) were caught at Banc d'Arguin, an intertidal flat ecosystem in Mauritania, and released with radio-tags after the measurement of gizzard mass. Using a novel tracking system (time-of-arrival), patch residence times were measured over a period of three weeks. Whether or not gizzard mass determined patch residence times was tested experimentally by offering 12 of the 46 tagged red knots soft diets prior to release; this reduced an individual's gizzard mass by 20-60%. To validate whether the observed range of patch residence times would be expected from individual diet preferences, we simulated patch residence times as a function of diet preferences via a simple departure rule. Consistent with previous empirical studies, patch residence times in the field were positively correlated with gizzard mass. The slope of this correlation, as well as the observed range of patch residence times, was in accordance with the simulated values. The 12 birds with reduced gizzard masses did not decrease patch residence times in response to the reduction in gizzard mass. These findings suggest that diet preferences can indeed cause the observed among-individual variation in gizzard mass and patch residence times. We discuss how early diet experiences can have cascading effects on the individual expression of both behavioural and physiomorphic traits. This emphasizes that to understand the ecological consequences of individual differences, knowledge of the environment during development is required.

AB - Behavioural variation within a species is usually explained as the consequence of individual variation in physiology. However, new evidence suggests that the arrow of causality may well be in the reverse direction: behaviours such as diet preferences cause the differences in physiological and morphological traits. Recently, diet preferences were proposed to underlie consistent differences in digestive organ mass and movement patterns (patch residence times) in red knots (Calidris canutus islandica). Red knots are molluscivorous and migrant shorebirds for which the size of the muscular stomach (gizzard) is critical for the food processing rate. In this study, red knots (C. c. canutus, n = 46) were caught at Banc d'Arguin, an intertidal flat ecosystem in Mauritania, and released with radio-tags after the measurement of gizzard mass. Using a novel tracking system (time-of-arrival), patch residence times were measured over a period of three weeks. Whether or not gizzard mass determined patch residence times was tested experimentally by offering 12 of the 46 tagged red knots soft diets prior to release; this reduced an individual's gizzard mass by 20-60%. To validate whether the observed range of patch residence times would be expected from individual diet preferences, we simulated patch residence times as a function of diet preferences via a simple departure rule. Consistent with previous empirical studies, patch residence times in the field were positively correlated with gizzard mass. The slope of this correlation, as well as the observed range of patch residence times, was in accordance with the simulated values. The 12 birds with reduced gizzard masses did not decrease patch residence times in response to the reduction in gizzard mass. These findings suggest that diet preferences can indeed cause the observed among-individual variation in gizzard mass and patch residence times. We discuss how early diet experiences can have cascading effects on the individual expression of both behavioural and physiomorphic traits. This emphasizes that to understand the ecological consequences of individual differences, knowledge of the environment during development is required.

KW - AFFECTS FORAGING DECISIONS

KW - KNOTS CALIDRIS-CANUTUS

KW - MARGINAL VALUE THEOREM

KW - RED KNOTS

KW - FOOD

KW - SHOREBIRDS

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KW - CHOICE

KW - SELECTION

KW - EVOLUTIONARY;

KW - PERSONALITY

U2 - 10.1111/1365-2656.12549

DO - 10.1111/1365-2656.12549

M3 - Article

C2 - 27306138

VL - 85

SP - 1378

EP - 1388

JO - Journal of Animal Ecology

JF - Journal of Animal Ecology

SN - 1365-2656

IS - 5

ER -

Oudman T, Bijleveld AI, Kavelaars MM, Dekinga A, Cluderay J, Piersma T et al. Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence. Journal of Animal Ecology. 2016 Aug 1;85(5):1378–1388. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12549

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