Parental breeding decisions and genetic quality predict social structure of independent offspring
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; University of Helsinki; Zoological Society of London
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAcross the animal kingdom, newly-independent juveniles form social associations that influence later fitness, mate choice, and gene flow, but little is known about the ontogeny of social environments, particularly in wild populations. Here we test whether associations among young animals form randomly, or are influenced by environmental or genetic conditions established by parents. Parents’ decisions determine natal birth sites, which could affect who independent young initially encounter; secondly, mate choice determines genetic condition (e.g. inbreeding) of young and the parental care they receive, which can affect sociability. However, genetic and environmental factors are confounded unless related offspring experience different natal environments. Therefore, we used a long-term genetic pedigree, breeding records, and social network data from three cohorts of a songbird with high extra-pair paternity (hihi, Notiomystis cincta) to disentangle (1) how nest location and relatedness contribute to association structure once juveniles disperse away from birth sites, and (2) if juvenile and/or parental inbreeding predicts individual sociability. We detected positive spatial autocorrelation: hihi that fledged closer by were more likely to associate even after dispersing, irrespective of genetic relatedness. Juvenile inbreeding did not predict sociability, but those raised by more inbred fathers formed more, stronger, associations, which did not depend on whether that male was the genetic parent or not. These results suggest that the natal environment created by parents, rather than focal genetic condition, establishes the foundation for social associations. Overall, we highlight how social inheritance may play an important role in population dynamics and evolutionary potential in wild animals.
CitationFranks, V. R., Thorogood, R., & Brekke, P. (2023). Parental breeding decisions and genetic quality predict social structure of independent offspring. Molecular Ecology, 32(17), 4898-4910. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.17066
The following license files are associated with this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International