Abstract # 51:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 8 (San Geronimo Ballroom C) Oral Presentation


THE EFFECTS OF INBREEDING AVOIDANCE AND KIN SELECTION IN UNDERSTANDING THE MULTILEVEL SOCIAL SYSTEM OF RHINOPITHECUS ROXELLANA

S. Guo1,2, K. Huang1, W. Ji3, P. A. Garber2 and B. Li1
1College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi-an, Shaanxi 710068, USA, 2Department of Anthropology University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, 3Massey University, Albany Auckland, New Zealand
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     A small number of primate species inhabiting marginal environments with highly scattered food distributions are characterized by a multilevel social structure. A multilevel social system is thought to have evolved as an effective behavioral/ecological solution to exploiting limited resources. Under conditions when competition over food is severe, natural selection may favor strong social bonds and alliances among kin. We used microsatellite genotyping to investigate kin relationships among members of 8 one male harem units (OMUs) that form the basic social unit of a multilevel society of over 100 free ranging Rhinopithecus roxellana in the Qinling Mt. of northern China. Our results showed that the relatedness coefficient among adult females within each unit was significantly higher than that between females within the troop. The mean relatedness coefficient between dispersing females in destination OMUs also was significantly higher than between females in all candidate OMUs. The relatedness of females and males within OMUs was significantly lower than the mean overall relatedness among members of the troop. This indicates that adult females preferentially remain in OMUs with close kin and when they disperse, they enter OMUs that also contain close kin. Inbreeding avoidance in these units is promoted by male biased natal dispersal. Female kin-based alliances may reduce feeding competition within an OMU and facilitate the efficient exploitation of limited resources. Supported by NSFC (31130061,30970379, 31270441) and CSC.