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Development, Stability, and Consequences of Personality in the Juvenile Red Squirrel

  • Author / Creator
    Kelley, Amanda D
  • Animal personality – defined as consistent differences in behaviour among individuals – is a growing field in behavioural ecology due to its demonstrated effects on fitness. However, the ontogeny of personality under natural conditions remains relatively unexplored. In this thesis, I examine the development, stability, and consequences of juvenile personality in the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). I demonstrate that 1) conditions in early life – particularly sibling relations – influence juvenile personality, 2) both aggression and activity change from juvenile to yearling stages, but activity maintains rank stability, 3) juveniles that gain territories early in the season do not experience a decrease in syndrome deviation, and 4) both dispersal activity and territory acquisition are influenced by juvenile aggression. These results suggest that environmental effects are important in shaping juvenile personality, and personality in turn influences a juvenile’s ability to meet the challenges associated with natal dispersal.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3H708B35
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Ecology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Stan Boutin (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Peter Hurd (Psychology)
    • Cindy Paskowski (Biological Sciences)