Data from: Individual dispersal decisions in a cooperative breeder: ecological constraints, the benefits of philopatry, and the social queue for dominance Nelson-Flower, Martha J.; Wiley, Elizabeth M.; Flower, Thomas P.; Ridley, Amanda R.; Flower, Tom P.
1. Delayed dispersal is a key step in the evolution of familial animal societies and cooperative breeding. However, no consensus has been reached on the ecological and social circumstances driving delayed dispersal. 2. Here we test predictions from the ecological constraints and benefits of philopatry hypotheses as well as the recently-proposed dual benefits hypothesis to better understand the evolution of group-living and cooperative breeding. Furthermore, we consider how individual social circumstances within groups affect dispersal decisions. 3. We examine 11 years of life-history information on a wild population of cooperatively breeding southern pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor). We investigate the effects of ecological conditions, natal-group membership and individual social context on male and female dispersal delays, disperser survival and acquisition of dominance. 4. Female dispersal decisions are generally unconstrained by ecological or social circumstances. In contrast, males disperse in response to relaxed ecological constraints, decreases in nepotistic tolerance, or when low social rank in the queue for dominance decreases their likelihood of gaining a dominant breeding position. Early dispersal by end-of-queue males often leads to a head-of-queue subordinate position in a non-natal group, thereby increasing access to dominant breeding positions. However, males and females remaining in natal groups gain benefits of philopatry via increased survival and, for head-of-queue males, very high likelihood of acquisition of a breeding position. 5. Overall, predictions from the dual benefits hypothesis best describe these results, while some predictions from each of the ecological constraints and benefits of philopatry hypotheses were supported. The benefits of living and working together (collective action benefits) in large stable groups are of central importance in shaping dispersal delays in southern pied babbler societies. In addition, position in the subordinate social queue for dominance is key in determining access to reproduction, particularly for males. This research highlights the importance of considering the costs and benefits of individual social circumstances in dispersal decisions and illustrates how the dual benefits hypothesis offers new perspectives in understanding delayed dispersal.; Usage notes
age at acquired dominanceData used for investigation of age at dominance acquisition from natal and non-natal groups.age at dominance.csvsubordinate breedingData used to investigate if subordinates are more likely to breed in the natal group.femalesData used to investigate likelihood of acquisition of dominance for females in natal and non-natal groups and at the head or end of queues.front of queueData used for investigation of the likelihood of acquisition of dominance by males and females at the head of dominance queues in natal and non-natal groups.male dispersalData for analysis of factors affecting timing of male dispersalfemale dispersalData for analysis of factors affecting timing of female dispersal.sub3Data for analysis of subordinate survival according to life history stage and sex using MARK.
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