Population genetic structure and direct observations reveal sex-reversed patterns of dispersal in a cooperative bird.
Bottom Line: Direct observations revealed that (i) natal philopatry was rare, with both sexes typically dispersing locally to breed, and (ii), unusually for birds, males bred at significantly greater distances from their natal group than females.Examining the spatial scale of extra-group mating highlighted that the resulting 'sperm dispersal' could have acted in concert with individual dispersal to generate these genetic patterns, but gamete dispersal alone cannot account entirely for the sex differences in genetic structure observed.We highlight the potential importance of sex differences in the distances over which dispersal opportunities can be detected.
Affiliation: Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK; Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Repeating this analysis using only the dominant (breeding) male and female in each group yielded broadly similar results. Pooling both sexes, there was significant positive genetic structure in the 1- to 250-m interval, but no significant structure at longer distances (Fig.4A). There was no significant difference between males and females in the extent of genetic structure overall using this approach (Fig.4B; Ω = 5.74, P = 0.49), although females were the only sex to show significant positive genetic structure in the 1- to 250-m interval. When performing the sensitivity analysis, significant positive local genetic structure for dominant females was detectable using distance bin sizes of up to 750 m, whereas for males, significant positive structure existed using only a 350-m bin size (Fig.5).
Affiliation: Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK; Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE, UK.