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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Yuko Ulrich, Dominic Burns, Romain Libbrecht, Daniel J C Kronauer
Division of labor in insect societies relies on simple behavioral rules, whereby individual colony members respond to dynamic signals indicating the need for certain tasks to be performed. This in turn gives rise to colony-level phenotypes. However, empirical studies quantifying colony-level signal-response dynamics are lacking. Here, we make use of the unusual biology and experimental amenability of the queenless clonal raider ant Cerapachys biroi, to jointly quantify the behavioral and physiological responses of workers to a social signal emitted by larvae...
July 2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Pawel Fedurek, Katie E Slocombe, Drew K Enigk, Melissa Emery Thompson, Richard W Wrangham, Martin N Muller
Long-distance calling is a common behaviour in animals that has various important social functions. At a physiological level, calling is often mediated by gonadal hormones such as testosterone (T), particularly when its function is linked to intra-sexual competition for mates or territory. T also plays an important role in the development of vocal characteristics associated with dominance in humans. However, the few available studies of T and vocal behaviour in non-human primates suggest that in primates T has less influence on call production than in other animals...
May 2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Seyed Mehdi Amininasab, Sjouke A Kingma, Martje Birker, Hanno Hildenbrandt, Jan Komdeur
ABSTRACT: Incubation is an important aspect of avian life history. The behaviour is energetically costly, and investment in incubation strategies within species, like female nest attentiveness and the feeding by the non-incubating partner during incubation, can therefore vary depending on environmental and individual characteristics. However, little is known about the combined effect of these characteristics. We investigated the importance of ambient temperature, habitat quality, and bird age on female incubation behaviour and male feeding of the incubating female (incubation feeding) in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus, a socially monogamous songbird...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Roger Schürch, Christopher Accleton, Jeremy Field
ABSTRACT: The progression from solitary living to caste-based sociality is commonly regarded as a major evolutionary transition. However, it has recently been shown that in some taxa, sociality may be plastic and dependent on local conditions. If sociality can be environmentally driven, the question arises as to how projected climate change will influence features of social organisation that were previously thought to be of macroevolutionary proportions. Depending on the time available in spring during which a foundress can produce worker offspring, the sweat bee Halictus rubicundus is either social or solitary...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Daphne Kerhoas, Lars Kulik, Dyah Perwitasari-Farajallah, Muhammad Agil, Antje Engelhardt, Anja Widdig
ABSTRACT: In promiscuous primates, interactions between adult males and infants have rarely been investigated. However, recent evidence suggests that male affiliation towards infants has an influence on several aspects of the infants' life. Furthermore, affiliations may be associated with male reproductive strategy. In this study, we examined which social factors influenced male-infant affiliation initiated by either male or infant, in wild crested macaques (Macaca nigra). We combined behavioral data and genetic paternity analysis from 30 infants living in three wild groups in Tangkoko Reserve, Indonesia...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Deborah M Gordon
'Division of labor' is a misleading way to describe the organization of tasks in social insect colonies, because there is little evidence for persistent individual specialization in task. Instead, task allocation in social insects occurs through distributed processes whose advantages, such as resilience, differ from those of division of labor, which are mostly based on learning. The use of the phrase 'division of labor' persists for historical reasons, and tends to focus attention on differences among individuals in internal attributes...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Myrsini E Natsopoulou, Dino P McMahon, Robert J Paxton
Task allocation in social insect colonies is generally organised into an age-related division of labour, termed the temporal polyethism schedule, which may in part have evolved to reduce infection of the colony's brood by pests and pathogens. The temporal polyethism schedule is sensitive to colony perturbations that may lead to adaptive changes in task allocation, maintaining colony homeostasis. Though social insects can be infected by a range of parasites, little is known of how these parasites impact within-colony behaviour and the temporal polyethism schedule...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Rebecca A Dunlop
ABSTRACT: Many theories and communication models developed from terrestrial studies focus on a simple dyadic exchange between a sender and receiver. During social interactions, the "frequency code" hypothesis suggests that frequency characteristics of vocal signals can simultaneously encode for static signaler attributes (size or sex) and dynamic information, such as motivation or emotional state. However, the additional presence of a bystander may result in a change of signaling behavior if the costs and benefits associated with the presence of this bystander are different from that of a simple dyad...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
C M Lessells, S Ruuskanen, H Schwabl
ABSTRACT: Avian mothers can potentially alter the phenotypes of their offspring by varying the concentration of steroid hormones in their eggs. We explored variation in androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), 17β-estradiol (E2), and corticosterone (CORT) in the yolks of 12 free-living great tit Parus major clutches. We analyzed variation and covariation in greater detail than previous studies, using models for variation with laying sequence that take into account variable clutch size and comparing correlations between pairs of hormones at the within- and between-clutch levels...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Anne G Hertel, Sam M J G Steyaert, Andreas Zedrosser, Atle Mysterud, Hanna K Lodberg-Holm, Henriette Wathne Gelink, Jonas Kindberg, Jon E Swenson
ABSTRACT: When animals are faced with extraordinary energy-consuming events, like hibernation, finding abundant, energy-rich food resources becomes particularly important. The profitability of food resources can vary spatially, depending on occurrence, quality, and local abundance. Here, we used the brown bear (Ursus arctos) as a model species to quantify selective foraging on berries in different habitats during hyperphagia in autumn prior to hibernation. During the peak berry season in August and September, we sampled berry occurrence, abundance, and sugar content, a proxy for quality, at locations selected by bears for foraging and at random locations in the landscape...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Flávia Koch, Johannes Signer, Peter M Kappeler, Claudia Fichtel
ABSTRACT: Individuals living in groups have to achieve collective action for successful territorial defense. Because conflicts between neighboring groups always involve risks and costs, individuals must base their decision to participate in a given conflict on an evaluation of the trade-off between potential costs and benefits. Since group members may differ in motivation to engage in group encounters, they exhibit different levels of participation in conflicts. In this study, we investigated factors influencing participation in intergroup encounters in Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), a group-living primate from Madagascar...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Adrian Surmacki, Anastazja Ragan, Ziemowit Kosiński, Marcin Tobółka, Paweł Podkowa
ABSTRACT: Carotenoid-based ornaments are often considered to be honest indicators of individual quality assessed by potential mates. However, males can use a variety of strategies that minimize the amount of costly carotenoids used while retaining the effectiveness of color signaling. Birds could do this by altering pigment intake, metabolism, or its presentation to a potential signal receiver. Here, we propose a new mechanism of lowering the costs of carotenoid displays in birds: differential allocation of pigments within single feathers...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Liam R Dougherty, David M Shuker
ABSTRACT: Sexual selection has been shown to be the driving force behind the evolution of the sometimes extreme and elaborate genitalia of many species. Sexual selection may arise before and/or after mating, or vary according to other factors such as the social environment. However, bouts of selection are typically considered in isolation. We measured the strength and pattern of selection acting on the length of the male intromittent organ (or processus) in two closely related species of lygaeid seed bug: Lygaeus equestris and Lygaeus simulans...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Jessica F Stephenson
ABSTRACT: Information received from the visual and chemical senses is qualitatively different. For prey species in aquatic environments, visual cues are spatially and temporally reliable but risky as the prey and predator must often be in close proximity. Chemical cues, by contrast, can be distorted by currents or linger and thus provide less reliable spatial and temporal information, but can be detected from a safe distance. Chemical cues are therefore often the first detected and may provide a context in which prey respond to subsequent ambiguous cues ("context hypothesis")...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Piotr Minias, Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Robert Rutkowski, Krzysztof Kaczmarek, Tomasz Janiszewski
Centres of avian colonies are usually associated with reduced predation risk and, thus, attract individuals of high quality, while poor-quality individuals are relegated to peripheral zones. Assuming that the incidence of extra-pair paternity (EPP) is dependent on individual quality, we could expect lower incidence of extra-pair offspring in the central parts of colonies. On the other hand, central pairs often nest in higher densities, which might increase EPP rate. To test these hypotheses, we sampled 124 great cormorant Phalacarocorax carbo sinensis chicks from 30 broods from different zones of a colony and genotyped them at seven highly polymorphic microsatellite loci...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Phyllis C Lee, Victoria Fishlock, C Elizabeth Webber, Cynthia J Moss
Long-lived species such as elephants, whales and primates exhibit extended post-fertile survival compared to species with shorter lifespans but data on age-related fecundity and survival are limited to few species or populations. We assess relationships between longevity, reproductive onset, reproductive rate and age for 834 longitudinally monitored wild female African elephants in Amboseli, Kenya. The mean known age at first reproduction was 13.8 years; only 5 % commenced reproduction by 10 years. Early reproducers (<12...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Adeelia S Goffe, Dietmar Zinner, Julia Fischer
One key question in social evolution is the identification of factors that promote the formation and maintenance of stable bonds between females and males beyond the mating context. Baboons lend themselves to examine this question, as they vary in social organisation and male-female association patterns. We report the results from the first systematic observations of individually identified wild female Guinea baboons. Guinea baboons live in a multilevel society with female-biased dispersal. Although several males could be found within 5 m of females, each female chiefly associated with one "primary" male at the 2 m distance...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Grant C McDonald, Tommaso Pizzari
The study of sexual selection is being revolutionised by the realisation that most populations exhibit some degree of polyandry, i.e. females mating with multiple males. Polyandry can drastically change the operation of sexual selection on males as it reduces the reproductive success that males derive by mating with different females, by forcing their ejaculates to compete for fertilisation after copulation (sperm competition). Variation in polyandry within a population means that the impact of polyandry can differ drastically across males, depending on the polyandry of their own mating partners...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Araceli Argüelles-Ticó, Clemens Küpper, Robert N Kelsh, András Kosztolányi, Tamás Székely, René E van Dijk
Sexual selection determines the elaboration of morphological and behavioural traits and thus drives the evolution of phenotypes. Sexual selection on males and females can differ between populations, especially when populations exhibit different breeding systems. A substantial body of literature describes how breeding systems shape ornamentation across species, with a strong emphasis on male ornamentation and female preference. However, whether breeding system predicts ornamentation within species and whether similar mechanisms as in males also shape the phenotype of females remains unclear...
2016: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Gavin M Leighton, Sebastian Echeverri, Dirk Heinrich, Holger Kolberg
Although communal goods are often critical to society, they are simultaneously susceptible to exploitation and are evolutionarily stable only if mechanisms exist to curtail exploitation. Mechanisms such as punishment and kin selection have been offered as general explanations for how communal resources can be maintained. Evidence for these mechanisms comes largely from humans and social insects, leaving their generality in question. To assess how communal resources are maintained, we observed cooperative nest construction in sociable weavers (Philetairus socius)...
November 1, 2015: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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