Kinship and reproductive condition correlate with affiliation patterns in female southern Australian bottlenose dolphins

Fernando Diaz-Aguirre, Guido J. Parra, Cecilia Passadore, Luciana Möller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Social relationships in female mammals are usually determined by an interplay among genetic, endogenous, social and ecological factors that ultimately affect their lifetime reproductive success. However, few studies have attempted to control for, and integrate these factors, hampering our understanding of drivers underlying female sociality. Here, we used generalized affiliation indices, combined with social networks, reproductive condition, and genetic data to investigate drivers of associations in female southern Australian bottlenose dolphins. Our analysis is based on photo-identification and genetic data collected through systematic boat surveys over a two-year study period. Female dolphins formed preferred associations and social clusters which ranged from overlapping to discrete home ranges. Furthermore, matrilineal kinship and biparental relatedness, as well as reproductive condition, correlated with the strength of female affiliations. In addition, relatedness for both genetic markers was also higher within than between social clusters. The predictability of resources in their embayment environment, and the availability of same-sex relatives in the population, may have favoured the formation of social bonds between genetically related females and those in similar reproductive condition. This study highlights the importance of genetic, endogenous, social and ecological factors in determining female sociality in coastal dolphins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1891
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Kinship and reproductive condition correlate with affiliation patterns in female southern Australian bottlenose dolphins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this