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1 June 2013 Social Systems in Habitat-Specialist Reef Fishes: Key Concepts in Evolutionary Ecology
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Abstract

A major focus in evolutionary ecology lies in explaining the evolution and maintenance of social systems. Although most theoretical formulations of social system evolution were initially inspired by studies of birds, mammals, and insects, incorporating a wider taxonomic perspective is important for testing deeply entrenched theory. Here, we review the contribution of studies of habitat-specialist coral reef fishes to our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of animal social systems. These fishes are ecologically similar but display remarkable variation in mating systems, social organization, and sex allocation strategies. By reviewing recent research, we demonstrate their amenability for experimental testing of key concepts in social evolution and for generating novel insights, including the ultimate reasons for female reproductive suppression, group living, and bidirectional sex change. Habitat-specialist reef fishes are a tried and tested group of model organisms for advancing our understanding of the evolution and ecology of social systems in animals.

© 2013 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp .
Marian Y. L. Wong and Peter M. Buston "Social Systems in Habitat-Specialist Reef Fishes: Key Concepts in Evolutionary Ecology," BioScience 63(6), 453-463, (1 June 2013). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2013.63.6.7
Published: 1 June 2013
JOURNAL ARTICLE
11 PAGES

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