Niels J Dingemanse

Niels J Dingemanse
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich | LMU · Department of Biology II

About

216
Publications
60,796
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
16,834
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - present
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Chair in Behavioural Ecology

Publications

Publications (216)
Article
Learning is a familiar process to most people, but it currently lacks a fully developed theoretical position within evolutionary biology. Learning (memory and forgetting) involves adjustments in behaviour in response to cumulative sequences of prior experiences or exposures to environmental cues. We therefore suggest that all forms of learning (and...
Article
Predictable behaviour (or “behavioural stability”) might be favoured in certain ecological contexts, e.g. when representing a quality signal. Costs associated with producing stable phenotypes imply selection should favour plasticity in stability when beneficial. Repeatable among‐individual differences in degree of stability are simultaneously expec...
Article
Assortative mating occurs when paired individuals of the same population are more similar than expected by chance. This form of non‐random assortment has long been predicted to play a role in many evolutionary processes because assortatively mated individuals are assumed to be genetically similar. However, this assumption may always hold for labile...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in female mate preferences for male traits remains poorly understood (both among and within females), despite having important evolutionary and conservation implications, particularly for captive breeding. Here, we investigate female mate preferences for male advertisement call frequency, and determine whether preferences vary over repeat...
Article
Vocal communication is often used to signal willingness to escalate into a physical fight during territorial conflicts. In songbirds, starting to sing when an opponent already sings (song overlapping) has been suggested to signal aggressive intent (willingness to escalate). We used a multiyear data set to test whether song overlapping predicts aggr...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable debate about the occurrence of assortative mating between phenotypic traits measured within natural populations. Meta-analyses have implied that assortative mating occurs generally in natural populations but recent work indicates these conclusions largely result from biased data. Specifically, estimates of phenotypic correlati...
Article
In various taxa, multibroodedness is a common breeding strategy. Life-history theory predicts that individuals can increase fitness by producing multiple broods within a season. Despite the apparent increase in the number of offspring parents might produce per season, not all individuals are multibrooded, suggesting a trade-off. We studied ecologic...
Article
Full-text available
Heterogeneous selection is often proposed as a key mechanism maintaining repeatable behavioral variation (“animal personality”) in wild populations. Previous studies largely focused on temporal variation in selection within single populations. The relative importance of spatial versus temporal variation remains unexplored, despite these processes h...
Article
Conclusions about the adaptive nature of repeatable variation in behavior (i.e., “personality”) are often derived from laboratory-based assays. However, the expression of genetic variation differs between laboratory and field. Laboratory-based behavior might not predict field-based behavior thus, cross-context validation is required. We estimated t...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is increasing worldwide, and there is now ample evidence of phenotypic changes in wild organisms in response to this novel environment. Yet, the genetic changes and genomic architecture underlying these adaptations are poorly understood. Here, we genotype 192 great tits ( Parus major ) from nine European cities, each paired with an adj...
Article
Social environments modify a male’s ability to attract females and thus affect its fitness. Theory implies that an individual’s fitness should trade-off with its ability to cope with competition. Individuals are expected to solve this trade-off differently: some males should be more attractive at low but others instead at high density. This predict...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological factors and individual-specific traits affect parasite infestation in wild animals. Ixodid ticks are important ectoparasites of various vertebrate hosts, which include passerine bird species such as the great tit (Parus major). We studied various key ecological variables (breeding density, human disturbance) and phenotypic traits (explor...
Article
Full-text available
In Focus: Dhellemmes, F., Finger J.S., Smukall M.J., Gruber S.H., Guttridge T.L., Laskowski K.L., & J. Krause. (2020) Personality-driven life-history trade-offs differ in two subpopulations of free-ranging predators. Journal of Animal Ecology, 90, 260-272. Life-history theory predicts that explorative individuals live-fast-but-die-young as they tak...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists and evolutionary biologists routinely estimate selection gradients. Most researchers seek to quantify selection on individual phenotypes, regardless of whether fixed or repeatedly expressed traits are studied. Selection gradients estimated to address such questions are attenuated unless analyses account for measurement error and biologic...
Article
Full-text available
Despite increasing evidence of the importance of repeatable among‐individual differences in behavior (animal personality) in ecology and evolution, little remains known about the role of animal personalities in sexual selection. Here, we present an investigation of the hypothesis that the personalities of individuals and their sexual partners play...
Article
Full-text available
1. The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long‐term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the w...
Article
Full-text available
When individuals are measured more than once in the same context they do not behave in exactly the same way each time. The degree of predictability differs between individuals, with some individuals showing low levels of variation around their behavioural mean while others show high levels of variation. This intra-individual variability in behaviou...
Article
Animal ecologists often collect hierarchically‐structured data and analyze these with linear mixed‐effects models. Specific complications arise when the effect sizes of covariates vary on multiple levels (e.g., within vs among subjects). Mean‐centering of covariates within subjects offers a useful approach in such situations, but is not without pro...
Preprint
Full-text available
The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long-term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the wild...
Article
Biological hypotheses predicting patterns of offspring begging typically concern the covariance with hunger and/or development at specific hierarchical levels. For example, hunger drives within-individual patterns of begging, but begging also drives food intake among individuals within broods, and begging and food intake can covary positively or ne...
Article
Full-text available
Animal tracking and biologging devices record large amounts of data on individual movement behaviors in natural environments. In these data, movement ecologists often view unexplained variation around the mean as "noise" when studying patterns at the population level. In the field of behavioral ecology, however, focus has shifted from population me...
Article
Full-text available
Linear mixed‐effects models are powerful tools for analyzing complex datasets with repeated or clustered observations, a common data structure in ecology and evolution. Mixed‐effects models involve complex fitting procedures and make several assumptions, in particular about the distribution of residual and random effects. Violations to these assump...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urbanisation is currently increasing worldwide, and there is now ample evidence of phenotypic changes in wild organisms in response to this novel environment, but the extent to which this adaptation is due to genetic changes is poorly understood. Current evidence for evolution is based on localised studies, and thus lacking replicability. Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of various vertebrate hosts, including many species of bird. Birds can disperse ticks over short and long distances, therefore impacting tick population dynamics. The likelihood that birds attract ticks should depend on their behaviour and the environment. We studied various key ecological variables (breed...
Article
Full-text available
Although mating represents a mutual interaction, the study of mate preferences has long focused on choice in one sex and preferred traits in the other. This has certainly been the case in the study of the costs and condition-dependent expression of mating preferences, with the majority of studies concerning female preference. The condition dependen...
Article
Full-text available
Birds are hosts for several zoonotic pathogens. Because of their high mobility, especially of long‐distance migrants, birds can disperse these pathogens, affecting their distribution and phylogeography. We focused on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which includes the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, as an example for tick‐borne pathogens, to...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic variation in behavior exists among species and populations, as well as among and within individuals. The pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis predicts covariation between life-history strategies, ranging from slow to fast, and behavior, ranging from shy, inactive, and flexible to bold, active, and less flexible. This covariation is expected...
Article
Full-text available
Predators can shape genetic correlations in prey by altering prey perception of risk. We manipulated perceived risk to test whether such non‐consumptive effects tightened behavioural trait correlations in wild‐caught stickleback from high‐ compared to low‐risk environments due to genetic variation in plasticity. We expected tighter genetic correlat...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Bird song transmits information required to defend territories and attract mates. These functions contribute to fitness by affecting survival and reproductive success. Singing is also costly due to physiological costs. We used observational data to evaluate support for the hypothesis that lower temperatures result in decreased singing behaviour in...
Article
1.Adaptive integration of life history and behaviour is expected to result in variation in the pace‐of‐life. Previous work focused on whether “risky” phenotypes live‐fast‐but‐die‐young, but reported conflicting support. We posit that individuals exhibiting risky phenotypes may alternatively invest heavily in early‐life reproduction but consequently...
Article
Full-text available
Fighting is a powerful social experience that can affect male reproductive behavior, including ejaculatory strategies. Whereas winners may monopolize females, losers may instead perceive high sperm competition and limited future mating opportuni‐ ties, and accordingly enhance ejaculate quality to maximize their reproductive suc‐ cess. In male field...
Article
Recreation negatively affects wildlife by influencing animal behavior vital to reproduction and survival. Such nonconsumptive effects of perceived predation risk are mainly studied in ground-breeding birds. However, if antipredator responses characterize bird species generally, so should nonconsumptive effects of perceived predation associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Biological responses to climate change have been widely documented across taxa and regions, but it remains unclear whether species are maintaining a good match between phenotype and environment, i.e. whether observed trait changes are adaptive. Here we reviewed 10,090 abstracts and extracted data from 71 studies reported in 58 relevant publications...
Article
Full-text available
Parental provisioning behavior is a major determinant of offspring growth and survival, but high provisioning rates might come at the cost of increased predation threat. Parents should thus adjust provisioning activity according to current predation threat levels. Moreover, life-history theory predicts that response to predation threat should be co...
Article
Ecological conditions such as nutrition can change genetic covariances between traits and accelerate or slow down trait evolution. Since adaptive trait correlations can become maladaptive following rapid environmental change, poor or stressful environments are expected to weaken genetic covariances, thereby increasing the opportunity for independen...
Article
Natural selection often favors particular combinations of functionally-related traits, resulting in adaptive phenotypic integration. Phenotypic integration has been proposed as a potential mechanism explaining the existence of repeatable among-individual differences in behavior (i.e., animal personality). In this study, we investigated patterns of...
Article
Nutritional conditions experienced during development are expected to play a key role in shaping an individual’s behavioral phenotype. The long term, irreversible effects of nutritional conditions on behavioral variation among and within individuals remains largely unexplored. This study aimed to investigate how long-term carotenoid availability (r...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental plasticity “prepares” individuals to environments experienced during adulthood. Labile traits, such as behaviour, vary within and among individuals owing to (i) reversible plasticity and (ii) developmental plasticity and genetic make-up, respectively. Here, we test whether developmental environments affect the expression of both withi...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptive evolution of timing of breeding (a component of phenology) in response to environmental change requires individual variation in phenotypic plasticity for selection to act upon. A major question is what processes generate this variation. Here we apply multi-year manipulations of perceived predation levels (PPL) in an avian predator-prey...
Article
Full-text available
Individual repeatability characterizes many behaviors. Repeatable behavior may result from repeated social interactions among familiar group members, owing to adaptive social niche specialization. In the context of aggression, in species like field crickets, social niche specialization should also occur when individuals repeatedly interact with unf...
Preprint
Full-text available
A major aim of evolutionary biology is to understand why patterns of genomic variation vary among populations and species. Large-scale genomic studies of widespread species are useful for studying how the environment and demographic history shape patterns of genomic divergence, and with the continually decreasing cost of sequencing, such studies ar...
Article
Full-text available
It is often claimed that pair bonds preferentially form between individuals that resemble one another. Such assortative mating appears to be widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Yet it is unclear whether the apparent ubiquity of assortative mating arises primarily from mate choice (“like attracts like”), which can be constrained by same-sex co...
Data
Data for Fig 1B. Strength of assortative mating for size as a function of data source. (XLSX)
Data
Data for Fig 2. Strength of assortative mating for body size in relation to sample size. (XLSX)
Data
Assortative mating estimates from the “nearest model” (model 3). For each study–trait combination, the Pearson’s r, the boundaries of the 95% CI, and the number of unique pairs are indicated. Asterisks mark significant (P < 0.05) correlations. Note that 27 out of 32 correlations are higher than those from S2 Table. (DOCX)
Data
The process of literature investigation. (DOCX)
Data
Previously unpublished data (nine long-term field studies). All the pairs that have been identified across the nine studies in which both pair members have at least one morphological record, including repeated records from different years. This data set also includes latitude and longitude of the nest site (Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection,...
Data
Previously unpublished data (nine long-term field studies). Data in which we combined the information from S1 and S2 Data. (XLSX)
Data
Published data (Fig 1A). Excel spreadsheet containing two separate sheets with data from literature: 1) data extracted from the publications and 2) the original references. (XLSX)
Data
Assortative mating estimates with and without observer bias, temporal and spatial autocorrelation. The fixed-effect level “Same” refers to measurements from the same observer, from the same month, and from the same site (while “Different” refers to measurements from different observers, measurements taken more than 30 days apart, or measurements ta...
Data
Data summary for experimental studies on captive Zebra finches. Here, each correlation estimate r is the weighted (by [n– 3]0.5, with n = number of pairs) average of correlation coefficients calculated within experimental aviaries. Experiments are numbered as in the Supplementary Methods section. Tarsus length from experiments 4 and 5 (marked with...
Data
Experimental data on Zebra finches, including five experiments. (XLSX)
Data
Simulated observer effects. We simulated 10 million pairs measured by 17 observers, which corresponds to the mean number of observers in the previously unpublished data of this study. Phenotypes of pair members (both sexes) were sampled from a normal distribution with mean = 70 mm (e.g., wing length) and a between-individual SD of 4 mm. Correlation...
Data
Summary of the strength of assortative mating from literature data across eight types of traits. The mixed-effect model includes 825 estimates from “Web of Science search” and “Cited studies.” Pearson’s correlation coefficients of assortment (weighed by sample size (n − 3)0.5, n = number of pairs) are modeled as the response variable. P values were...
Data
Description of nine long-term field studies and experimental Zebra finch data. (DOCX)
Data
Previously unpublished data (nine long-term field studies). All available records of morphological traits which covered more than 95% of individuals included in S1 Data. This data set also includes the location where the individual was caught, the date of catching, and the observer who measured the individual. (XLSX)
Data
Models for the previously unpublished data (Fig 1C). Excel spreadsheet contains six separate sheets; each sheet corresponds to a model to estimate the strength of assortative mating. (XLSX)
Data
Assortative mating for eight morphological measures of size from previously “Unpublished data” (nine field studies, species name abbreviations in Table 1; details in S2, S3 and S4 Tables). A–C. Dots represent estimated assortative mating, bars the 95% CI, and color body size trait for “random alignment model” (A), “average model” (B), and “nearest...
Data
Change in estimates in relation to different thresholds for defining “same” and “different” for variation in time and space. Left panels: dots represent mean Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r), bars the 95% CI based on the same time (top) and space (bottom) models as in Fig 1 (S5 Table). Right panels: distribution of sample sizes (number of pai...
Data
Assortative mating estimates from the “random alignment model.” For each study–trait combination, the average Pearson’s r and the average boundaries of the 95% CI (from 1,000 simulations) and the number of unique pairs are indicated. Asterisks mark significant (P < 0.05) correlations. (DOCX)
Data
Assortative mating estimates from the “average model.” For each study–trait combination, the Pearson’s r, the boundaries of the 95% CI, and the number of unique pairs are indicated. Asterisks mark significant (P < 0.05) correlations. Note that 27 out of 32 correlations are higher than those from S2 Table. (DOCX)
Data
The degree of assortative mating as a function of data source. The overall intercept was removed to directly show the average degree of assortative mating and 95% CI for each of the four levels of the fixed effect and its significance in terms of t-values and P values (calculated with infinite df). The random effects show the proportion of variance...
Preprint
Energy metabolism has received much attention as a potential driver of repeatable among-individual differences in behaviour (animal personality). Several factors have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. We performed a meta-analysis of >70 studies comprised of >8000 individuals reporting relationships between measures of maintenance meta...
Article
Energy metabolism has received much attention as a potential driver of repeatable among‐individual differences in behaviour (animal personality). Several factors have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. We performed a systematic review with a meta‐analysis of >70 studies comprised of >8000 individuals reporting relationships between mea...