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How Interspecific Competition Influences the Reproductive Skew of Burying Beetles (Nicrophorus nepalensis, Hope 1831)
Reproductive skew,Cooperatively breeding,Interspecific competition,Infanticide behavior,Burying beetles (Nicrophorus nepalensis),
|Publication Year :||2021|
Reproductive skew means the uneven partitioning of members’ offspring among reproductive group. Differences in physical quality, relatedness, and environmental stress may affect the degree of reproductive skew. Studying the mechanisms that shape reproductive skew helps to understand the evolutionary driving force of social behavior.
To understand the evolutionary driving force of social behavior, theoretical ecologists have developed many theoretical models that attempt to explain the mechanisms by how organisms form groups. However, previous studies have tended to focus on how relatedness among group members affect the mechanisms of group formation and reproductive skew and have less examined the effects of other ecological factors (e.g., environmental stress) on reproductive skew. Therefore, in this study, the sub-social insects, Nicrophorus nepalensis, was used as the experimental species. By controlling the relatedness and size of the experimental insects, operation experiment are conducted to change the interspecific competition stress. Investigating the effects of interspecific competition stress on reproductive skew and to explain the mechanism of reproductive skew in burying beetles’ society by theoretical models.
We found that the interaction patterns of burying beetles changed in an environment where there was interspecific competition stress from flies. Dominant are less likely to drive away subordinate and form larger cooperative reproductive groups. In addition, due to the interspecific competition stress from flies, individuals of each hierarchy advance their spawning time to a similar time, eliminating the infanticide cue of dominant and indirectly increasing the chance of survival of the offspring of subordinate. Allowing the genes of cooperators to be passed on to the next generation and promoting the evolution of cooperative behavior. In addition to a higher degree of cooperative behavior, the timing and number of eggs laid by females became more even, and the overall reproductive skew index decreased, resulting in a more cooperative group in terms of behavior and reproductive success.
This research provides insight into the details of group formation in burying beetles by manipulating interspecific competition stress, allowing us to better understand the mechanisms of group formation and the evolutionary driving force of social behavior.
|Appears in Collections:||氣候變遷與永續發展國際學位學程(含碩士班、博士班)|
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