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The relative importance of spatial proximity, kin selection and potential ‘greenbeard’ signals on provisioning behaviour among helpers in a cooperative bird

McDonald, Paul G., Rollins, Lee Ann and Godfrey, Stephanie 2016, The relative importance of spatial proximity, kin selection and potential ‘greenbeard’ signals on provisioning behaviour among helpers in a cooperative bird, Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 133-143.

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Title The relative importance of spatial proximity, kin selection and potential ‘greenbeard’ signals on provisioning behaviour among helpers in a cooperative bird
Author(s) McDonald, Paul G.
Rollins, Lee AnnORCID iD for Rollins, Lee Ann orcid.org/0000-0002-3279-7005
Godfrey, Stephanie
Journal name Behavioral ecology and sociobiology
Volume number 70
Issue number 1
Start page 133
End page 143
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Gemany
Publication date 2016-01-01
ISSN 0340-5443
Keyword(s) Cooperative breeding
Direct benefits
Inclusive fitness
Indirect benefits
Population viscosity
Social networks analysis
Summary © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Many hypotheses have been proposed to account for cooperative behaviour, with those favouring kin selection receiving the greatest support to date. However, the importance of relatedness becomes less clear in complex societies where interactions can involve both kin and non-kin. To help clarify this, we examined the relative effect of indirect versus key direct benefit hypotheses in shaping cooperative decisions. We assessed the relative importance of likely reciprocal aid (as measured by spatial proximity between participants), kin selection (using molecular-based relatedness indices) and putative signals of relatedness (vocal similarity) on helper/helper cooperative provisioning dynamics in bell miners (Manorina melanophrys), a species living in large, complex societies. Using network analysis, we quantified the extent of shared provisioning (helping at the same nests) among individual helpers (excluding breeding pairs) over three seasons and 4290 provisioning visits, and compared these with the location of individuals within a colony and networks built using either genetic molecular relatedness or call similarity indices. Significant levels of clustering were observed in networks; individuals within a cluster were more closely related to each other than other colony members, and cluster membership was stable across years. The probability of a miner helping at another’s nest was not simply a product of spatial proximity and thus the potential for reciprocal aid. Networks constructed using helping data were significantly correlated to those built using molecular data in 5 of 10 comparisons, compared to 8 of 10 comparisons for networks constructed using call similarity. This suggests an important role of kinship in shaping helping dynamics in a complex cooperative society, apparently determined via an acoustic ‘greenbeard’ signal in this system.
Language eng
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
06 Biological Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079828

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