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1 November 2002 DIRECT BENEFITS AND THE EVOLUTION OF FEMALE-BIASED COOPERATIVE BREEDING IN SEYCHELLES WARBLERS
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Abstract
Inclusive fitness benefits have been suggested to be a major selective force behind the evolution of cooperative breeding. We investigated the fitness benefits selecting for cooperative breeding in the Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis. A microsatellite-based genotyping method was used to determine the relatedness of subordinates to group offspring in an isolated population of Seychelles warblers. The indirect and direct breeding benefits accruing to individual subordinates were then calculated for every successful breeding event over a three-year period. We show that female subordinates frequently gained parentage and that this, combined with high levels of extragroup paternity, resulted in low levels of relatedness between subordinates and nondescendent offspring within a territory. Direct breeding benefits were found to be significantly higher than indirect kin benefits for both female and male subordinates. As predicted, female subordinates gained significantly more direct breeding opportunities and therefore higher inclusive fitness benefits by being a subordinate within a group than did males. This may explain why most subordinates in the Seychelles warbler are female.
David S. Richardson, Terry Burke and Jan Komdeur "DIRECT BENEFITS AND THE EVOLUTION OF FEMALE-BIASED COOPERATIVE BREEDING IN SEYCHELLES WARBLERS," Evolution 56(11), (1 November 2002). https://doi.org/10.1554/0014-3820(2002)056[2313:DBATEO]2.0.CO;2
Received: 4 June 2002; Accepted: 7 August 2002; Published: 1 November 2002
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