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Family structure in the Siberian Jay as revealed by microsatellite analyses

Lillandt, B G; Bensch, Staffan LU and von Schantz, Torbjörn LU (2003) In Condor 105(3). p.505-514
Abstract
The Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus) lives in resident, territorial family groups outside the breeding season, but does not breed cooperatively. Thereby it offers an opportunity to study the evolution of territorial group living, without confounding effects of reproductive cooperation. During a long-term study in Finland 1974-2000, we observed Siberian Jay group composition in autumn. Using microsatellite analysis based on feather or blood samples we clarified kin relations within the groups. We found that out of 311 groups that included at least one more individual than the territory holders, 74% were nuclear families, including breeding birds and 1-3 retained offspring. However, 26% of the groups were not families, but consisted of... (More)
The Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus) lives in resident, territorial family groups outside the breeding season, but does not breed cooperatively. Thereby it offers an opportunity to study the evolution of territorial group living, without confounding effects of reproductive cooperation. During a long-term study in Finland 1974-2000, we observed Siberian Jay group composition in autumn. Using microsatellite analysis based on feather or blood samples we clarified kin relations within the groups. We found that out of 311 groups that included at least one more individual than the territory holders, 74% were nuclear families, including breeding birds and 1-3 retained offspring. However, 26% of the groups were not families, but consisted of pairs accompanied only by individuals that were not their offspring. According to extensive pedigrees we found that 70% of the 82 immatures associated with a nonparent pair were not related to either territory holder. Of these 82 immatures, 91% were associated with pairs that had no offspring on their own, suggesting that they were failed breeders or newly established pairs. The composition of groups was mostly unchanged during the observation period within each season, regardless of kinship. Previous studies have reported apparent nepotism between parents and retained offspring in the Siberian Jay, and a high degree of aggression toward nonoffspring, so we did not expect to find such high frequency and remarkable within-season stability of nonfamily groups. These observations suggest that there are important fitness benefits to gain from territoriality and group living, regardless of kinship. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Condor
volume
105
issue
3
pages
505 - 514
publisher
Cooper Ornithological Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000184561100010
  • scopus:0043131893
ISSN
0010-5422
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
81f8e0ab-00aa-48b6-ab36-47894a67b681 (old id 137225)
alternative location
http://www.bioone.org/bioone/?request=get-abstract&issn=0010-5422&volume=105&issue=03&page=0505
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 12:17:19
date last changed
2018-06-10 04:32:55
@article{81f8e0ab-00aa-48b6-ab36-47894a67b681,
  abstract     = {The Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus) lives in resident, territorial family groups outside the breeding season, but does not breed cooperatively. Thereby it offers an opportunity to study the evolution of territorial group living, without confounding effects of reproductive cooperation. During a long-term study in Finland 1974-2000, we observed Siberian Jay group composition in autumn. Using microsatellite analysis based on feather or blood samples we clarified kin relations within the groups. We found that out of 311 groups that included at least one more individual than the territory holders, 74% were nuclear families, including breeding birds and 1-3 retained offspring. However, 26% of the groups were not families, but consisted of pairs accompanied only by individuals that were not their offspring. According to extensive pedigrees we found that 70% of the 82 immatures associated with a nonparent pair were not related to either territory holder. Of these 82 immatures, 91% were associated with pairs that had no offspring on their own, suggesting that they were failed breeders or newly established pairs. The composition of groups was mostly unchanged during the observation period within each season, regardless of kinship. Previous studies have reported apparent nepotism between parents and retained offspring in the Siberian Jay, and a high degree of aggression toward nonoffspring, so we did not expect to find such high frequency and remarkable within-season stability of nonfamily groups. These observations suggest that there are important fitness benefits to gain from territoriality and group living, regardless of kinship.},
  author       = {Lillandt, B G and Bensch, Staffan and von Schantz, Torbjörn},
  issn         = {0010-5422},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {505--514},
  publisher    = {Cooper Ornithological Society},
  series       = {Condor},
  title        = {Family structure in the Siberian Jay as revealed by microsatellite analyses},
  volume       = {105},
  year         = {2003},
}