Behavioural mediators of genetic life-history trade-offs: a test of the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis in field crickets
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis predicts associations between life history and 'risky' behaviours. Individuals with 'fast' lifestyles should develop faster, reproduce earlier, exhibit more risk-prone behaviours, and die sooner than those with 'slow' lifestyles. While support for POLS has been equivocal to date, studies have relied on individual-level (phenotypic) patterns in which genetic trade-offs may be masked by environmental effects on phenotypes. We estimated genetic correlations between life history (development, lifespan, size) and risky behaviours (exploration, aggression) in a pedigreed population of Mediterranean field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). Path analyses showed that behaviours mediated some genetic relationships between life history traits, though not those involved in trade-offs. Thus, while specific predictions of POLS theory were not supported, genetic integration of behaviour and life history was present. This implies a major role for risky behaviours in life history evolution.
F.S. and N.J.D. were supported by the Max Planck Society, F.S. by the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, A.J.W. by a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship, and P.T.N. by a postdoctoral fellowship of the German Science Foundation (DFG).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 284, 20171567