Cooperative Breeding. How environment and life history correlate to cooperative breeding in birds


Term Paper, 2019

9 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Abstract or Introduction

Cooperative breeding systems, in which the offspring of a species is raised and nurtured by not only the parental individuals, but also by alloparents, are widespread among social animals. In birds, around 9 % of all species engage in cooperative breeding. The question why an individual engages in cooperative breeding instead of breeding independently has been a continuous point for researchers.

The fitness benefits that an individual gains from cooperative breeding differ from inclusive fitness in the Florida Scrub Jay to a rise of available food sources and group benefits for the Azure-Winged Magpie and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Since the graphic distribution of cooperative breeding in birds is highly variable, it has been suggested that ecological conditions must play a part in what drives cooperative breeding. The ‘Hard-Life Hypothesis’ states that the more barren the environment in which a species has to raise their offspring, the more likely it is that the individuals will participate in cooperative breeding. The ‘Ecological-Constraint Hypothesis’ states that, if an individual cannot find an own habitat due to saturation of the surrounding territories, it will stay and act as an alloparent for its relatives instead. Other, more recent theories take the life history into account as well, stating that the survival rates of not only the offspring but all group members of the system rise.

Details

Title
Cooperative Breeding. How environment and life history correlate to cooperative breeding in birds
College
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Grade
1,7
Author
Year
2019
Pages
9
Catalog Number
V931523
ISBN (eBook)
9783346281609
Language
English
Keywords
Cooperative Breeding, Life History, Enviroment, Environmental Influences, Hard-Life Hypothesis, Ecological-Constraint Hypothesis, Hamilton rule
Quote paper
Luisa van Gansewinkel (Author), 2019, Cooperative Breeding. How environment and life history correlate to cooperative breeding in birds, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/931523

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