NPI seminar: Life history correlates of consistency and variability in behaviour

Speaker: Samantha Patrick, University of Liverpool, UK.

How individuals obtain the resources they need for survival and reproduction is integral to their fitness. Individuals may differ in the way in which they search for food or the spatial and temporal consistency in their foraging strategy. The fitness consequences of short- and long-term consistency are poorly understood and whether differences within populations emerge due to adaptive strategies or constraints linked to quality has rarely been studied.

In this presentation I will discuss the emergence of individual differences in the exploration–exploitation trade-off, indicative of differences in searching behaviour. I will present evidence of short- and long-term consistency in foraging area and habitat choice and examine whether specialists and generalist coexist or whether specialisation is always adaptive. I will look at how these foraging traits change over the lifetime of individuals and reveal the importance of intrinsic drivers in shaping the links between foraging and fitness.