Kin-dependent dispersal influences relatedness and genetic structuring in a lek system
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Kin selection and dispersal play a critical role in the evolution of cooperative breeding systems. Limited dispersal increases relatedness in spatially structured populations (population viscosity), with the result that neighbours tend to be genealogical relatives. Yet the increase in neighbours’ fitness-related performance through altruistic interaction may also result in habitat saturation and thus exacerbate local competition between kin. Our goal was to detect the footprint of kin selection and competition by examining the spatial structure of relatedness and by comparing non-effective and effective dispersal in a population of a lekking bird, Tetrao urogallus. For this purpose, we analysed capture–recapture and genetic data collected over a 6-year period on a spatially structured population of T. urogallus in France. Our findings revealed a strong spatial structure of relatedness in males. They also indicated that the population viscosity could allow male cooperation through two non-exclusive mechanisms. First, at their first lek attendance, males aggregate in a lek composed of relatives. Second, the distance corresponding to non-effective dispersal dramatically outweighed effective dispersal distance, which suggests that dispersers incur high post-settlement costs. These two mechanisms result in strong population genetic structuring in males. In females, our findings revealed a lower level of spatial structure of relatedness and genetic structure in respect to males. Additionally, non-effective dispersal and effective dispersal distances in females were highly similar, which suggests limited post-settlement costs. These results indicate that kin-dependent dispersal decisions and costs have a genetic footprint in wild populations and are factors that may be involved in the evolution of cooperative courtship.
KeywordsCooperation Sociality Dispersal Relatedness Genetic structuring Bird Tetrao urogallus
The genetic monitoring of capercaillie in the Vosges Mountains was funded by the Life + Project “Des Forêts pour le Grand tetras”, by the Natura2000 network and by the regional programme of the Capercaillie National Action Plan initiated by the French Ministry of Environment. The project largely relied on the work of volunteers who collected samples during the 6 years of the study: Antoine Andre, Didier Arseguel, Samuel Audinot, Alix Badre, Etienne Barbier, Dominique Becker, Bernard Binetruy, Frédéric Bocquenet, Noémie Castaing, Sebastien Coulette, Stéphane Damervalle, Luc Dauphin, Richard Delaunay, Lucile Demaret, Michel Despoulin, Laurent Domergue, Vincent Drillon, Christian Dronneau, Fabien Dupont, Arnaud Foltzer, Patrick Foltzer, Marc Gehin, Cyril Gerard, Maxime Girardin, Remi Grandemange, Jean-Claude Gregy, Joaquim Hatton, Thibaut Hingray, Thierry Hue, Arnaud Hurstel, Jean-Nöel Journot, Fabien Kilque, Lydie Lallement, Christian Lamboley, Manuel Lembke, Jean-Michel Letz, Vincent Lis, Olivier Marchand, Paul Massard, Yvan Mougel, Michel Munier, Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Yvan Nicolas, Christian Oberle, Pascal Perrotey-Doridant, Christian Philipps, François Rey-Demaneuf, Dorian Toussaint, Jean-Marie Triboulot, Bruno Vaxelaire, Laurent Verard, Jean-Lou Zimmermann, and Alice Zimmermann. We also thank Jacob Höglund and the other anonymous referee for their constructive comments that helped to improve the manuscript.
Author contribution statement
GJ, JC and HC conceived the ideas and designed methodology. FP and AL collected the data. HC, ML, FF, JGP and LB analysed the data. HC led the writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed critically to the drafts and gave final approval for publication.
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