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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.

Shuert, Courtney R. and Pomeroy, Patrick P. and Twiss, Sean D. (2020) '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.', Behavioral ecology and sociobiology., 74 (1). p. 8.

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.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2783-8
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date accepted:12 December 2019
Date deposited:07 January 2020
Date of first online publication:26 December 2019
Date first made open access:07 January 2020

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