Abstracts (first author)


Disentangling the social, parental and genetic influences on natal dispersal in great tits

Author(s): Garroway CJ, Hinde C, Verhelst B, Sheldon BC


Natal dispersal is a key process underpinning the structure and dynamics of populations. Individual variation in dispersal behaviour is substantial, but we know very little about the causes of individual variation in dispersal, and the extent to which this variation is influenced by social processes. Here, we integrate longitudinal data collected over five decades from a wild great tit (Parus major) population with two cross-fostering experiments to disentangle the influence of social processes, parental effects and genetics on dispersal behaviour. We show first that parental dispersal phenotype, whether they are themselves locally hatched or immigrants, has scale-independent effects on dispersal by offspring. Birds with immigrant parents dispersed further within patches and were more likely to disperse outside patches. Using an index of the composition of early social environments, with reference to the immigrant and locally hatched status of neighbours, we then show that dispersal is independent of the local social environment in which birds are raised. We used two large-scale cross-fostering experiments to demonstrate that parental effects on dispersal are primarily intrinsic to offspring, and therefore independent of parental behaviour. Finally, we show that parental dispersal phenotypes show similar fledging success but differing rates of local recruitment of offspring, implying that dispersal phenotypes will be genetically structured across landscapes. Our findings suggest that understanding the underpinning genetics of dispersal will be important for understanding the behaviour of populations in fragmented landscapes. Non-random dispersal of particular types of individuals suggests scope for the emergence of fine-scale population structure and has important consequences for interpretations of selection studies and dispersal theory.


Abstracts (coauthor)

How social structure affects gene flow in a wild passerine population

Author(s): Radersma, R, Garroway CJ, Santure AW, De Cauwer I, Slate J, Sheldon BC


Gene flow is strongly affected by the spatial distribution of individuals, the variability of the physical environment and social processes such as dispersal, resource competition and territoriality. Here we investigate the contributions of those forces to gene flow in foraging flocks of great tits (Parus major) for three consecutive winters. We used a total of 85602 visits of flocks to 60 feeding tables which recorded the identity of 1711 birds by radio frequency identification technology. Of those birds 962 were genotyped based on 4701 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). For 87% of the visits we were able to genotype at least one individual. We used asymmetric eigenvector maps (AEMs) to partition the contributions of space and social structure to the allele frequencies of all 4701 SNPS in the feeding flocks while taking the previous positions of individuals into account. We were able to explain 58% of the variance in allele frequencies with AEMs. This study shows that space and social structure have a substantial effect on the distribution of alleles over subpopulations and therefore on gene flow. To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate the effect of social structure and space to gene flow at such a fine scale while accounting for previous location of the individuals. Therefore it contributes to the understanding of how social behaviour affects evolution. Next we will extract Moran’s eigenvector maps (MEMs) for the spatial locations of feeding tables and use partial redundancy analysis (AEMs as explanatory variables while controlling for MEMs) to investigate how social structure affects allele frequencies, while controlling for space. We will use variance partitioning to quantify the relative contributions of space and social structure, determine which alleles have large effects on the AEMs and check whether those alleles are in linkage disequilibrium with candidate genes or are known to correlate to environmental variables.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
Tel: 00 351 217500614 direct
Tel: 00 351 217500000 ext22359
Fax: 00 351 217500028
email: mail@eseb2013.com


XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group