Delayed dispersal and the cost and benefits of different routes to independent breeding in a cooperative breeding bird

Kingma, Sjouke A., Bebbington, Kat, Hammers, Martijn, Richardson, David S. ORCID: and Komdeur, Jan (2016) Delayed dispersal and the cost and benefits of different routes to independent breeding in a cooperative breeding bird. Evolution, 70 (11). 2595–2610. ISSN 0014-3820

[thumbnail of Published manuscript]
PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (416kB) | Preview


Why sexually mature individuals stay in groups as non-reproductive subordinates is central to the evolution of sociality and cooperative breeding. To understand such delayed dispersal, its costs and benefits need to be compared with those of permanently leaving to float through the population. However, comprehensive comparisons, especially regarding differences in future breeding opportunities, are rare. Moreover, extra-territorial prospecting by philopatric individuals has generally been ignored, even though the factors underlying this route to independent breeding may differ from those of strict philopatry or floating. We use a comprehensive predictive framework to explore how various costs, benefits and intrinsic, environmental and social factors explain philopatry, prospecting and floating in Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis). Floaters more likely obtained an independent breeding position before the next season than strictly philopatric individuals, but also suffered higher mortality. Prospecting yielded similar benefits to floating but lower mortality costs, suggesting that it is overall more beneficial than floating and strict philopatry. Whereas prospecting is probably individual-driven, though limited by resource availability, floating likely results from eviction by unrelated breeders. Such differences in proximate and ultimate factors underlying each route to independent breeding highlight the need for simultaneous consideration when studying the evolution of delayed dispersal.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cooperative breeding,benefits-of-philopatry,delayed dispersal,reproductive skew,ecological constraints,informed dispersal
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 13:00
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 00:20
DOI: 10.1111/evo.13071

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item