No Cover Image

Journal article 199 views 5 downloads

Extra-group paternity varies with proxies of relatedness in a social mammal with high inbreeding risk

David A Wells, Michael A Cant, Faye J Thompson, Harry H Marshall, Emma I K Vitikainen, Joseph I Hoffman, Hazel Nichols Orcid Logo

Behavioral Ecology, Volume: 32, Issue: 1, Pages: 94 - 104

Swansea University Author: Hazel Nichols Orcid Logo

Check full text

DOI (Published version): 10.1093/beheco/araa105

Abstract

Behavioural mechanisms for avoiding inbreeding are common in the natural world and are believed to have evolved as a response to the negative consequences of inbreeding. However, despite a fundamental role in fitness, we have a limited understanding of the cues that individuals use to assess inbreed...

Full description

Published in: Behavioral Ecology
ISSN: 1045-2249 1465-7279
Published: Oxford University Press (OUP) 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa55169
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Abstract: Behavioural mechanisms for avoiding inbreeding are common in the natural world and are believed to have evolved as a response to the negative consequences of inbreeding. However, despite a fundamental role in fitness, we have a limited understanding of the cues that individuals use to assess inbreeding risk as well as the extent to which individual inbreeding behaviour is repeatable. We used piecewise structural equation modelling of 24 years of data to investigate the causes and consequences of within- versus extra-group paternity in banded mongooses. This cooperatively breeding mammal lives in tight-knit social groups that often contain closely related opposite-sex breeders, so inbreeding can be avoided through extra-group mating. We used molecular parentage assignments to show that, despite extra-group paternity resulting in outbred offspring, within-group inbreeding occurs frequently, with around 16% litters being moderately or highly inbred. Additionally, extra-group paternity appears to be plastic, with females mating outside of their social group according to individual proxies (age and immigration status) and societal proxies (group size and age) of within-group inbreeding risk, but not in direct response to levels of within-group relatedness. While individual repeatability in extra-group paternity was relatively low, female co-breeders showed high repeatability, suggesting a strong constraint arising from the opportunities for extra-group mating. The use of extra-group paternity as an inbreeding avoidance strategy is therefore limited by high costs, opportunity constraints and the limited reliability of proxies of inbreeding risk.
College: College of Science
Issue: 1
Start Page: 94
End Page: 104