Population-, sex- and individual level divergence in life-history and activity patterns in an annual killifish
Thore, Eli S.J.
Gregoir, Arnout F.
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Variation in life-history strategies along a slow-fast continuum is largely governed by life-history trade-offs. The pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis (POLS) expands on this idea and suggests coevolution of these traits with personality and physiology at different levels of biological organization. However, it remains unclear to what extent covariation at different levels aligns and if also behavioral patterns such as diurnal activity changes should be incorporated. Here, we investigate variation in life-history traits as well as behavioral variation at the individual, sex and population level in the Turquoise killifish Nothobranchius furzeri. We performed a common garden laboratory experiment with four populations that differ in pond permanence and scored life-history and behavioral (co-) variation at the individual and population level for both males and females. In addition, we focused on diurnal activity change as a behavioral trait that remains understudied in ecology. Our results demonstrate sex-specific variation in adult body size and diurnal activity change among populations that originate from ponds with differences in permanence. However, there was no pond permanence-dependent divergence in maturation time, juvenile growth rate, fecundity and average activity level. With regard to behavior, individuals differed consistently in locomotor activity and diurnal activity change while, in contrast with POLS predictions, we found no indications for life-history and behavioral covariation at any level. Overall, this study illustrates that diurnal activity change differs consistently between individuals, sexes and populations although this variation does not appear to match POLS predictions