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The causes and consequences of inbreeding avoidance and tolerance in cooperatively breeding vertebrates

Nichols, HJ (2017) The causes and consequences of inbreeding avoidance and tolerance in cooperatively breeding vertebrates. Journal of Zoology. ISSN 0952-8369

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Abstract

Cooperative breeders provide a particularly interesting scenario for studying inbreeding. Such populations are viscous due to delayed dispersal and short dispersal distances, resulting in the build-up of relatives in the local population. This leads to a high risk of inbreeding, and consequently of inbreeding depression. This has driven the evolution of an array of inbreeding avoidance mechanisms resulting in a relatively low level of close inbreeding in the majority of cooperative breeders. However, there are a number of species where inbreeding occurs relatively frequently. The presence of regular inbreeding (in cases where inbreeding is not a result of recent population declines), suggests that inbreeding tolerance and even preference can evolve under some circumstances. Both inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have enormous downstream fitness consequences for cooperative breeding species. For example, they can influence reproductive dynamics leading to a monopolisation of breeding opportunities by dominant individuals. Inbreeding and its avoidance are also likely to impact on the evolution of cooperative breeding itself through influencing levels of relatedness between potential cooperators. Finally, in some cooperative breeders, a high degree of inbreeding avoidance can be detrimental to population viability, and hence is of particular concern to conservationists. In this review, I discuss these issues in detail and also briefly consider recent advances in the methods available for the study of inbreeding in natural populations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Nichols, H. J. (2017), The causes and consequences of inbreeding avoidance and tolerance in cooperatively breeding vertebrates. J Zool. doi:10.1111/jzo.12466, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12466
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 11:47
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2017 17:13
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/jzo.12466
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6065

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