Animal behaviour emerges from a complex interaction between an individual’s needs, life history strategies and the varying local environment. This environment is increasingly disturbed as human activity encroaches on previously unexposed regions. This disturbance can have different effects on individual animals or populations depending on their behavioural strategies. Here, we examine a means of predicting the resilience of individuals or populations to unanticipated disturbances, and we find that resilience that can be estimated from routinely collected behavioural observations is a good predictor of how rapidly an individual’s expected behaviour is returned to following a perturbation, and correlates strongly with how much population abundance changes following a disturbance.
This work was funded by the Office of Naval Research (N00014-13-1-0696). We thank C Asher for her comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.