Habitat complexity, environmental change and personality: a tropical perspective

Delarue, Emma Michelle Pamela, Kerr, Sarah, and Rymer, Tasmin (2015) Habitat complexity, environmental change and personality: a tropical perspective. Behavioural Processes, 120. pp. 101-110.

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Tropical rainforests are species-rich, complex ecosystems. They are increasingly being negatively affected by anthropogenic activity, which is rapidly and unpredictably altering their structure and complexity. These changes in habitat state may expose tropical animals to novel and unpredictable conditions, potentially increasing their extinction risk. However, an animal's ability to cope with environmental change may be linked to its personality. While numerous studies have investigated environmental influences on animal personalities, few are focused on tropical species. In this review, we consider how behavioural syndromes in tropical species might facilitate coping under, and adapting to, increasing disturbance. Given the complexity of tropical rainforests, we first discuss how habitat complexity influences personality traits and physiological stress in general. We then explore the ecological and evolutionary implications of personality in the tropics in the context of behavioural flexibility, range expansion and speciation. Finally, we discuss the impact that anthropogenic environmental change may have on the ecological integrity of tropical rainforests, positing scenarios for species persistence. Maintaining tropical rainforest complexity is crucial for driving behavioural flexibility and personality type, both of which are likely to be key factors facilitating long term persistence in disturbed habitats.

Item ID: 41303
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-8308
Keywords: exploratory behaviour, habitat complexity, habitat disturbance, personality, tropical rainforests
Funders: North Queensland Wildlife Trust, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 05:16
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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