IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Habitat saturation, benefits of philopatry, relatedness, and the extent of co-operative breeding in a cichlid

Listed author(s):
  • Dik Heg
  • Susan Rothenberger
  • Roger Schürch
Registered author(s):

    Co-operative breeding in vertebrates may emerge due to subordinates delaying dispersal when free breeding habitat is not available ('habitat saturation' hypothesis, HS). However, delayed dispersal might also be due to younger individuals postponing dispersal to when they are more competitively able or have more to gain from breeding independently ("benefits-of-philopatry" hypothesis, BP) or to when inclusive fitness benefits no longer outweigh the benefits from independent breeding ("kin selection" hypothesis, KS). Here, we show in three experiments that both HS and BP determine the extent of co-operative breeding in the cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. Contrary to the KS, individuals significantly avoided settlement with related individuals, and an additional settlement experiment confirmed this result. Our results suggest that kin structure in these cichlids emerges from limits on dispersal, but if such barriers are absent, cichlids prefer to settle with unrelated individuals to maximize the benefits of direct reproductive participation. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 82-92

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:82-92
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK

    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:82-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.