Large group size yields group stability in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher

Large group size yields group stability in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher Large group size yields group stability in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher Dik Heg 1,2) , Lyanne Brouwer 1,3) , Zina Bachar 1) & Michael Taborsky 1) ( 1 Department of Behavioural Ecology, Zoological Institute, University of Bern, CH-3032 Hinterkappelen, Switzerland; 3 Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, 9750AA Haren, the Netherlands) (Accepted: 25 July 2005) Summary Group size has been shown to positively influence survival of group members in many cooper- atively breeding vertebrates, including the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher , suggesting Allee effects. However, long-term data are scarce to test how these survival differ- ences translate into changes in group extinction risk, group size and composition. We show in a field study of 117 groups from six different colonies (three from two populations each), that group size critically influences these parameters between years. Within one year, 34% of the groups went extinct. Group size correlated positively between years and large groups did not go extinct. The latter were more likely to contain small helpers the subsequent year, which is a cumulative measure of the previous months’ reproductive success. Finally, there was a tendency that large groups were more http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

Large group size yields group stability in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher

Behaviour, Volume 142 (11-12): 1615 – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
DOI
10.1163/156853905774831891
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Large group size yields group stability in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher Dik Heg 1,2) , Lyanne Brouwer 1,3) , Zina Bachar 1) & Michael Taborsky 1) ( 1 Department of Behavioural Ecology, Zoological Institute, University of Bern, CH-3032 Hinterkappelen, Switzerland; 3 Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, 9750AA Haren, the Netherlands) (Accepted: 25 July 2005) Summary Group size has been shown to positively influence survival of group members in many cooper- atively breeding vertebrates, including the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher , suggesting Allee effects. However, long-term data are scarce to test how these survival differ- ences translate into changes in group extinction risk, group size and composition. We show in a field study of 117 groups from six different colonies (three from two populations each), that group size critically influences these parameters between years. Within one year, 34% of the groups went extinct. Group size correlated positively between years and large groups did not go extinct. The latter were more likely to contain small helpers the subsequent year, which is a cumulative measure of the previous months’ reproductive success. Finally, there was a tendency that large groups were more

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2005

Keywords: GROUP SIZE; GROUP STABILITY; LAKE TANGANYIKA CICHLIDS; COOPERATIVE BREEDING

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