Friends and strangers: a test of the Charnov-Finerty Hypothesis
We tested the hypothesis that populations composed of unrelated animals should perform worse than those composed of related animals by setting up two moderatedly dense field populations in adjacent enclosures: one was composed of related females and one of unrelated females; both had unrelated males. The survival and reproductive success of a number of litters located by spooling were determined. Final population size, pregnancy success, number of young recruited per pregnancy, and survival were similar in both populations. Thus, differences in relatedness produced no differences in demography. We conclude that the Charnov-Finerty Hypothesis in unlikely to be an explanation for microtine population fluctuations.
Key wordsCharnov-Finerty Hypothesis Population cycles Voles Dispersal Kin selection
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