Coping styles represent alternative response patterns in reaction to a stressor. The coping style model provides a set of predictions about correlations between behavioural and neurophysiological reactions to a stressful situation. According to this model, high levels of activity should be correlated with high levels of aggressiveness at the behavioural level, and to high sympathetic reactivity, low parasympathetic reactivity (higher heart rate levels) and low hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis reactivity (low production of glucocorticoids in response to a stressor). More recent versions of the model, however, are challenging this view and consider the possibility of independent axes of coping style and stress reactivity. The coping style model has mainly been tested on artificially selected or inbred lines in laboratory settings. Such a situation restricts its generalization to a larger number of species and there is a need for studies testing it in the wild under more natural situations. Here, we test the predictions of the coping style model in a wild alpine marmot, Marmota marmota, population. We show that several behavioural (i.e. exploration in an open field, impulsivity and docility) and neurophysiological traits (i.e. heart rate, breathing rate and cortisol production) assumed to represent individual differences in coping style were significantly repeatable over 2-3 years. Not all the correlations between traits predicted by the coping style model were found in marmots, which supports the more recent two-axes model. Furthermore, most correlations were observed at the between-individual level, and the within-individual correlations (i.e. phenotypic plasticity) were weaker. Overall, our results support the prediction of the coping style model, but highlight the fact that the association between traits found in artificial conditions may be weaker in a more natural setting. (C) 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Testing for the presence of coping styles in a wild mammal

Pasquaretta, C.;von Hardenberg, A.;
2013-01-01

Abstract

Coping styles represent alternative response patterns in reaction to a stressor. The coping style model provides a set of predictions about correlations between behavioural and neurophysiological reactions to a stressful situation. According to this model, high levels of activity should be correlated with high levels of aggressiveness at the behavioural level, and to high sympathetic reactivity, low parasympathetic reactivity (higher heart rate levels) and low hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis reactivity (low production of glucocorticoids in response to a stressor). More recent versions of the model, however, are challenging this view and consider the possibility of independent axes of coping style and stress reactivity. The coping style model has mainly been tested on artificially selected or inbred lines in laboratory settings. Such a situation restricts its generalization to a larger number of species and there is a need for studies testing it in the wild under more natural situations. Here, we test the predictions of the coping style model in a wild alpine marmot, Marmota marmota, population. We show that several behavioural (i.e. exploration in an open field, impulsivity and docility) and neurophysiological traits (i.e. heart rate, breathing rate and cortisol production) assumed to represent individual differences in coping style were significantly repeatable over 2-3 years. Not all the correlations between traits predicted by the coping style model were found in marmots, which supports the more recent two-axes model. Furthermore, most correlations were observed at the between-individual level, and the within-individual correlations (i.e. phenotypic plasticity) were weaker. Overall, our results support the prediction of the coping style model, but highlight the fact that the association between traits found in artificial conditions may be weaker in a more natural setting. (C) 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1496002
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