The repeatability of variability: exploring intra-and inter-individual variation in seasonality

K.D. Matson, M.A. Versteegh, B.I. Tieleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Animals exhibit seasonal cycles in a variety of physiological and behavioral traits.
Studies of these cycles can potentially offer new insights into the evolution of individual
differences. For natural selection to act, a trait must be both distinctive within individuals and
variable among individuals. The extent to which the amplitude and phase of seasonal cycles
fulfill these requirements is not well documented. As a preliminary analysis, we investigated
seasonal cycles in the body mass of pigeons, which we weighed quarterly over a period of six years. We employed several of statistical
techniques aimed at 1) quantifying the repeatability of seasonality and 2) comparing
within- and among-individual variation in seasonality. Our goal is to take what we have
learned from our analyses of mass and apply it to other seasonally variable physiological
traits, including variables related to immune function.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1786v1
Number of pages2
JournalPeerJ PrePrints
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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