Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Coping styles in capital breeders modulate behavioural trade-offs in time allocation: assessing fine-scale activity budgets in lactating grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) using accelerometry and heart rate variability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Balancing time allocation among competing behaviours is an essential part of energy management for all animals. However, trade-offs in time allocation may vary according to the sex of the individual, their age, and even underlying physiology. During reproduction, higher energetic demands and constrained internal resources place greater demand on optimizing these trade-offs insofar that small adjustments in time-activity may lead to substantial effects on an individual’s limited energy budget. The most extreme case is found in animals that undergo capital breeding, where individuals fast for the duration of each reproductive episode. We investigated potential underlying drivers of time-activity and describe aspects of trade-offs in time-activity in a wild, capital breeding pinniped, the grey seal Halichoerus grypus, during the lactation period. For the first time, we were able to access full 24-h activity budgets across the core duration of lactation as well as characterize how aspects of stress-coping styles influence time allocation through the use of animal-borne accelerometers and heart rate monitors in situ. We found that there was a distinct trade-off in time activity between time spent Resting and Alert (vigilance). This trade-off varied with the pup’s development, date, and maternal stress-coping style as indicated by a measure of heart rate variability, rMSSD. In contrast, time spent Presenting/Nursing did not vary across the duration of lactation given the variables tested. We suggest that while mothers balance time spent conserving resources (Resting) against time expending energy (Alert), they are also influenced by the inherent physiological drivers of stress-coping styles.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume74
Early online date26 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Maternal behaviour, Time-activity allocation, Heart rate variability, Pinniped, Lactation, Stress-coping styles

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Environment-sensitive mass changes influence breeding in a capital breeding marine top predator

    Smout, S. C., King, R. & Pomeroy, P., 20 Nov 2019, In : Journal of Animal Ecology. Early View, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Changes in stable isotope compositions during fasting in phocid seals

    Habran, S., Damseaux, F., Pomeroy, P., Debier, C., Crocker, D., Lepoint, G. & Das, K., 30 Jan 2019, In : Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 33, 2, p. 176-184 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. EIRPHOT : A critical assessment of Wales’ grey seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) photo - identification database .

    Langley, I. J., Rosas Da Costa Oliver, T. V., Stringell, T., Morris, C., Hiby, L. & Pomeroy, P., 21 Jan 2019, Bangor: Natural Resources Wales. 94 p. (evidence report series; no. 280)

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Related by journal

  1. Mating failure shapes the patterns of sperm precedence in an insect

    Balfour, V. L., Black, D. & Shuker, D. M., 27 Jan 2020, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 14 p., 25.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The development of communication in alarm contexts in wild chimpanzees

    Dezecache, G., Crockford, C. & Zuberbuhler, K., Aug 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 73, 9 p., 104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. A review of thanatosis (death feigning) as an anti-predator behaviour

    Humphreys, R. K. & Ruxton, G. D., Feb 2018, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72, 16 p., 22.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Circular data in biology: advice for effectively implementing statistical procedures

    Landler, L., Ruxton, G. D. & Malkemper, E. P., Aug 2018, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72, 8, 10 p., 128.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)
    15 Dec 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Luke Edward Rendell (Editor)
    2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)
    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Vincent Janik (Member of editorial board)
    20052014

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Editor)
    19972002

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

ID: 258191810

Top