No evidence for inbreeding avoidance in a great reed warbler population

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No evidence for inbreeding avoidance in a great reed warbler population. / Hansson, Bengt; Jack, L; Christians, JK; Pemberton, JM; Åkesson, Mikael; Westerdahl, Helena; Bensch, Staffan; Hasselquist, Dennis.

I: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 18, Nr. 1, 2007, s. 157-164.

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T1 - No evidence for inbreeding avoidance in a great reed warbler population

AU - Hansson, Bengt

AU - Jack, L

AU - Christians, JK

AU - Pemberton, JM

AU - Åkesson, Mikael

AU - Westerdahl, Helena

AU - Bensch, Staffan

AU - Hasselquist, Dennis

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - Inbreeding depression may drive the evolution of inbreeding avoidance through dispersal and mate choice. In birds, many species show female-biased dispersal, which is an effective inbreeding avoidance mechanism. In contrast, there is scarce evidence in birds for kin discriminative mate choice, which may, at least partly, reflect difficulties detecting it. First, kin discrimination may be realized as dispersal, and this is difficult to distinguish from other causes of dispersal. Second, even within small, isolated populations, it is often difficult to determine the potential candidates available to a female when choosing a mate. We sought evidence for inbreeding avoidance via kin discrimination in a breeding population of great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) studied over 17 years. Inbreeding depression is strong in the population, suggesting that it would be adaptive to avoid relatives as mates. Detailed data on timing of settlement and mate search movements made it possible to identify candidate mates for each female, and long-term pedigrees and resolved parentage enabled us to estimate relatedness between females and their candidate mates. We found no evidence for kin discrimination: mate choice was random with respect to relatedness when all mate-choice events were considered, and, after correction for multiple tests, also in all breeding years. We suggest that dispersal is a sufficient inbreeding avoidance mechanism in most situations, although the lack of kin discriminative mate choice has negative consequences for some females, because they end up mating with closely related males that lowers their fitness.

AB - Inbreeding depression may drive the evolution of inbreeding avoidance through dispersal and mate choice. In birds, many species show female-biased dispersal, which is an effective inbreeding avoidance mechanism. In contrast, there is scarce evidence in birds for kin discriminative mate choice, which may, at least partly, reflect difficulties detecting it. First, kin discrimination may be realized as dispersal, and this is difficult to distinguish from other causes of dispersal. Second, even within small, isolated populations, it is often difficult to determine the potential candidates available to a female when choosing a mate. We sought evidence for inbreeding avoidance via kin discrimination in a breeding population of great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) studied over 17 years. Inbreeding depression is strong in the population, suggesting that it would be adaptive to avoid relatives as mates. Detailed data on timing of settlement and mate search movements made it possible to identify candidate mates for each female, and long-term pedigrees and resolved parentage enabled us to estimate relatedness between females and their candidate mates. We found no evidence for kin discrimination: mate choice was random with respect to relatedness when all mate-choice events were considered, and, after correction for multiple tests, also in all breeding years. We suggest that dispersal is a sufficient inbreeding avoidance mechanism in most situations, although the lack of kin discriminative mate choice has negative consequences for some females, because they end up mating with closely related males that lowers their fitness.

KW - pedigree

KW - kin

KW - inbreeding depression

KW - inbreeding avoidance

KW - dispersal

KW - recognition

KW - relatedness

U2 - 10.1093/beheco/arl062

DO - 10.1093/beheco/arl062

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 157

EP - 164

JO - Behavioral Ecology

T2 - Behavioral Ecology

JF - Behavioral Ecology

SN - 1045-2249

IS - 1

ER -