Social groups with diverse personalities mitigate physiological stress in a songbird

Vágási, Csongor Istvan and Fülöp, Attila and Osváth, Gergely and Pap, Péter László and Pénzes, Janka and Benkő, Zoltán and Lendvai, Ádám Zoltán and Barta, Zoltán (2020) Social groups with diverse personalities mitigate physiological stress in a songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288. p. 20203092. ISSN 0962-8452 (print), 1471-2954 (online)


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Social groups often consist of diverse phenotypes, including personality types, and this diversity is known to affect the functioning of the group as a whole. Social selection theory proposes that group composition (i.e. social environment) also influences the performance of individual group members. However, the effect of group behavioural composition on group members remains largely unexplored, and it is still contentious whether individuals benefitmore in a social environmentwith homogeneous or diverse behavioural composition. We experimentally formed groups of house sparrows Passer domesticus with high and low diversity of personality (exploratory behaviour), and found that their physiological state (body condition, physiological stress and oxidative damage) improved with increasing group-level diversity of personality. These findings demonstrate that group personality composition affects the condition of group members and individuals benefit from social heterosis (i.e. associating with a diverse set of behavioural types). This aspect of the social life can play a key role in affiliation rules of social animals and might explain the evolutionary coexistence of different personalities in nature.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan > QL750-QL782.5 Animal behavior / etológia, állat-viselkedéstan
Depositing User: Dr. Péter László Pap
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 10:17
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2023 07:22

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