UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Not only mate choice matters: fitness consequences of social partner choice in female house mice


Weidt, A; Hofmann, S E; König, B (2008). Not only mate choice matters: fitness consequences of social partner choice in female house mice. Animal Behaviour, 75(3):801-808.

Abstract

In addition to sexual selection, selection resulting from social interactions in contexts other than mating can be a potent evolutionary force. Such social selection processes are facilitated whenever individual fitness varies as a result of any form of social interactions. The choice of social partners for communal care of young is such a situation in which interactants potentially experience fitness variance. In this study, we investigated the existence and impact of female social partner choice and the potential for social selection to occur in the cooperatively breeding wild house mouse, Mus domesticus. We analysed patterns of individual associations in groups of females, and compared the reproductive behaviour of females grouped with either a preferred or a nonpreferred social partner over an experimental life span of half a year, using spatial association as a measure of preference. We predicted low reproductive competition among preferred social partners and high competition, reflected in lower reproductive success, among nonpreferred. Our results showed that female house mice displayed nonrandom preferences, and that social partner choice yielded significant fitness benefits. Females in pairs with a preferred partner had a significantly higher probability to give birth and to establish an egalitarian, cooperative relationship, resulting in higher reproductive success than females in nonpreferred pairs. This suggests that interactions among females are subject to social selection processes, driving the evolution of female traits.

In addition to sexual selection, selection resulting from social interactions in contexts other than mating can be a potent evolutionary force. Such social selection processes are facilitated whenever individual fitness varies as a result of any form of social interactions. The choice of social partners for communal care of young is such a situation in which interactants potentially experience fitness variance. In this study, we investigated the existence and impact of female social partner choice and the potential for social selection to occur in the cooperatively breeding wild house mouse, Mus domesticus. We analysed patterns of individual associations in groups of females, and compared the reproductive behaviour of females grouped with either a preferred or a nonpreferred social partner over an experimental life span of half a year, using spatial association as a measure of preference. We predicted low reproductive competition among preferred social partners and high competition, reflected in lower reproductive success, among nonpreferred. Our results showed that female house mice displayed nonrandom preferences, and that social partner choice yielded significant fitness benefits. Females in pairs with a preferred partner had a significantly higher probability to give birth and to establish an egalitarian, cooperative relationship, resulting in higher reproductive success than females in nonpreferred pairs. This suggests that interactions among females are subject to social selection processes, driving the evolution of female traits.

Citations

33 citations in Web of Science®
39 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 14 May 2008
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:competition; cooperation; female choice; female preference; fitness consequences; house mouse; Mus domesticus; reproductive success; social partner choice; social selection
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:14 May 2008 09:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0003-3472
Additional Information:published online 23 October 2007; MS. number: 9284; www.sciencedirect.com
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.06.017
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2488

Download

[img]
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 255kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations