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Quantitative genetics of the use of conspecific and heterospecific social cues for breeding site choice

Abstract : Social information use for decision-making is common and affects ecological and evolutionary processes, including social aggrega-tion, species coexistence, and cultural evolution. Despite increasing ecological knowledge on social information use, very little is known about its genetic basis and therefore its evolutionary potential. Genetic variation in a trait affecting an individual's social and nonsocial environment may have important implications for population dynamics, interspecific interactions, and, for expression of other, environmentally plastic traits. We estimated repeatability, additive genetic variance, and heritability of the use of conspecific and heterospecific social cues (abundance and breeding success) for breeding site choice in a population of wild col-lared flycatchers Ficedula albicollis. Repeatability was found for two social cues: previous year conspecific breeding success and previous year heterospecific abundance. Yet, additive genetic variances for these two social cues, and thus heritabilities, were low. This suggests that most of the phenotypic variation in the use of social cues and resulting conspecific and heterospecific social environment experienced by individuals in this population stems from phenotypic plasticity. Given the important role of social information use on ecological and evolutionary processes, more studies on genetic versus environmental determinism of social information use are needed.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:05:54 PM
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Jere Tolvanen, Sami Kivelä, Blandine Doligez, Jennifer Morinay, Lars Gustafsson, et al.. Quantitative genetics of the use of conspecific and heterospecific social cues for breeding site choice. Evolution, Wiley, 2020, 74 (10), pp.2332-2347. ⟨10.1111/evo.14071⟩. ⟨hal-02990536⟩

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