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Modelling the influence of demographic parameters on group structure in social species with dispersal asymmetry and group fission

Abstract : Female philopatry characterizes many mammal populations subdivided into social groups. Fission of these social groups is a relatively discrete event in the life of groups or of individuals, leading to the distribution of females among several newly formed groups. Fission is an important event because it can be a way for females to disperse. Group fissions have rarely been observed and their modalities generally remain poorly known, the best-documented species being primates. Most group fissions occur along lines of maternal relatedness, but the death of a matriarch may disrupt the cohesion within a matriline, inducing separation of sisters, accompanied by their descendants, when a group splits. Our model shows that the numbers and sizes of matrilines within groups depend on the precise demographic parameters and age structure of a population and not only on its rate of increase. For comparable population-growth periods, high survival rates of adult females induce an increase in the sizes of matrilines, whereas high survival rates of immature individuals induce an increase in the numbers of matrilines. Following fission, groups of a given size included, in the first case, only a few large matrilines, whereas in the second case, they consisted mainly of many small matrilines. The present study constitutes a preliminary stage, before modelling consequences of demographic structure of groups or populations on their genetic structure.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 15, 2016 - 4:29:48 PM
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Diane Lefebvre, Nelly Ménard, Jean-Sébastien Pierre. Modelling the influence of demographic parameters on group structure in social species with dispersal asymmetry and group fission. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Springer Verlag, 2003, 53 (6), pp.402-410. ⟨10.1007/s00265-002-0578-8⟩. ⟨hal-01345774⟩

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