Cost, risk, and avoidance of inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding bird

Leedale, Amy E. and Simeoni, Michelle and Sharp, Stuart P. and Green, Jonathan P. and Slate, Jon and Lachlan, Robert F. and Robinson, Elva J. H. and Hatchwell, Ben J. (2020) Cost, risk, and avoidance of inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding bird. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (27). pp. 15724-15730. ISSN 0027-8424

[thumbnail of Cost, risk and avoidance of inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding bird_AAM_revised.pdf] Text
Cost, risk and avoidance of inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding bird_AAM_revised.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (435kB)

Abstract

Inbreeding is often avoided in natural populations by passive processes such as sex-biased dispersal. But, in many social animals, opposite-sexed adult relatives are spatially clustered, generating a risk of incest and hence selection for active inbreeding avoidance. Here we show that, in long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus), a cooperative breeder that risks inbreeding by living alongside opposite-sex relatives, inbreeding carries fitness costs and is avoided by active kin discrimination during mate choice. First, we identified a positive association between heterozygosity and fitness, indicating that inbreeding is costly. We then compared relatedness within breeding pairs to that expected under multiple mate-choice models, finding that pair relatedness is consistent with avoidance of first-order kin as partners. Finally, we show that the similarity of vocal cues offers a plausible mechanism for discrimination against first-order kin during mate choice. Long-tailed tits are known to discriminate between the calls of close kin and nonkin, and they favor first-order kin in cooperative contexts, so we conclude that long-tailed tits use the same kin discrimination rule to avoid inbreeding as they do to direct help toward kin.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final, published version of the article is available from: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/27/15724
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Amy Leedale
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 13:24
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2021 13:24
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3341

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item