Review article

How does parental personality influence offspring quality in animals?

A. Chira

A. Chira
University of Sheffield, Animal and Plant Science Department Western Bank, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S10 2TN, United Kingdom. Email: boa10amc@sheffield.ac.uk

Online First: October 17, 2014
Chira, A. 2014. How does parental personality influence offspring quality in animals?. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2014.233


Behaviour ecology has become a popular research area, and its importance in understanding the evolution, ecology and diversity of life on Earth is now fully recognised. More recently, consistent differences between individuals (including personality traits) have become the target of animal studies, and such differences have been reported in a wide range of invertebrate and vertebrate taxa. The study of animal personality has expanded in the last decade, and it now benefits from a clear theoretical framework, supported by empirical evidence. Many studies report that personality traits influence individual fitness, but it is not clear how and why this happens. The present review explores this gap in the current knowledge and provides a comprehensive perspective of the main arguments put forward to explain why individuals’ personality traits influence their fitness. Specifically, I investigate (a) how is personality associated with life-history and reproductive investment, (b) how personality traits can represent the basis of mate choice, and what are the implications of assortative mating based on personality, and (c) how personality can impact the amplitude and outcomes of intra-familial conflicts. Additionally, I aim to identify the main knowledge gaps on the subject and provide some general guidelines for future theoretical and empirical work, and also briefly highlight the broad impacts that personality research has for evolutionary biology and ecology, as well as for applied conservation. 


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