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Data from: Parentage analysis of Ansell's mole-rat family groups indicates a high reproductive skew despite relatively relaxed ecological constraints on dispersal

Citation

Patzenhauerová, Hana; Šklíba, Jan; Bryja, Josef; Šumbera, Radim (2013), Data from: Parentage analysis of Ansell's mole-rat family groups indicates a high reproductive skew despite relatively relaxed ecological constraints on dispersal, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3dr96

Abstract

To better understand evolutionary pathways leading to eusociality, interspecific comparisons are needed, which would use a common axis, such as that of reproductive skew, to array species. African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia) provide an outstanding model of social evolution because of a wide range of social organizations within a single family; however, their reproductive skew is difficult to estimate, due to their cryptic lifestyle. A maximum skew could theoretically be reached in groups where reproduction is monopolized by a stable breeding pair, but the value could be decreased by breeding-male and breeding-female turnover, shared reproduction and extra-group mating. The frequency of such events should be higher in species or populations inhabiting mesic environments with relaxed ecological constraints on dispersal. To test this prediction, we studied patterns of parentage and relatedness within 16 groups of Ansell's mole-rat (Fukomys anselli) in mesic miombo woodland. Contrary to expectation, there was no shared reproduction (more than one breeder of a particular sex) within the studied groups, and proportion of immigrants and offspring not assigned to current breeding males was low. The within-group parentage and relatedness patterns observed resemble arid populations of ‘eusocial’ Fukomys damarensis, rather than a mesic population of ‘social’ Cryptomys hottentotus. As a possible explanation, we propose that the extent ecological conditions affect reproductive skew may be markedly affected by life history and natural history traits of the particular species and genera.

Usage Notes

Location

Zambia