Behaviour 2019
Search
Are bold or docile animals more socially valuable?
Dana M. Williams1,2, Samantha Beckert1,2, Daniel T. Blumstein1,2. 1University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States; 2Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gothic, CO, United States

Consistent individual behavioral variation (i.e., personality) can have important fitness consequences. In social species, personality variation may be associated with the degree to which individuals are connected with conspecifics, affecting access to resources and vulnerability to predators. We invesigated the association between two personality dimensions (boldness and docility), dominance rank, and an individual’s position in their social network for the facultatively social yellow-bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventer. We found that older marmots had significantly higher affiliative eigenvector centrality and strength (in and out) and higher agonistic global clustering and out-strength. More docile marmots had greater affiliative betweenness centrality and lower agonistic in-degree, in-closeness, and greater out-closeness. Interestingly, docile animals had lower relative dominance rankings in both affiliative and agonistic networks.  Together, our results illustrate how bolder or more docile individuals have unique roles within their social networks, illustrating how variation in personality may have important implications for an individual’s social position.