Stress activity is not predictive of coping style in North American red squirrels

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sarah E WestrickBen Dantzer

Abstract

Individuals vary in their behavioral and physiological responses to environmental changes. These behavioral responses are often described as 'coping styles' along a proactive-reactive continuum. Studies in laboratory populations often, but not always, find that behavioral responses and physiological responses to stressors covary, where more proactive (more aggressive and active) individuals have a lower physiological stress response, specifically as measured by hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. These studies support the possibility of hormonal pleiotropy underlying the presentation of behaviors that make up the proactive-reactive phenotype. However, recent research in wild populations is equivocal, with some studies reporting the same pattern as found in many controlled laboratory studies, whereas others do not. We tested the hypothesis that physiological and behavioral stress responses are correlated in wild adult North American red squirrels ( Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ). We used fecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) as a non-invasive, integrated estimate of circulating glucocorticoids for our measurement of HPA axis activity. We found that FCM concentrations were not correlated with three measures of behavioral c...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Environment
Glucocorticoids
Hypothalamic Structure
Research
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Wild bird
Fecal Fistula
Patterns
Response to Stimulus Physiology
Experience

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