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Patterns and dynamics of sex-biased dispersal in a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus

Radespiel, Ute, Lutermann, Heike, Schmelting, Barthel, Bruford, Michael Willaim and Zimmermann, Elke 2003. Patterns and dynamics of sex-biased dispersal in a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. Animal Behaviour 65 (4) , pp. 709-719. 10.1006/anbe.2003.2121

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We examined predictions on the proportion of dispersing natal males and females, dispersal distances, the age at dispersal and the potential for inbreeding over a 6-year period in a free-living population of grey mouse lemurs. We used monthly mark–recapture procedures to determine individual locations and interindividual distances. The analysis of seven polymorphic microsatellite markers for 213 (130 males, 83 females) individuals allowed us to estimate relatedness coefficients and kinship relationships. Closely related males ranged further from each other than closely related females and natal males were found further from their potential mothers than were females. Natal males were more likely to disperse from their birth sites than females, although male dispersal was not universal. Male breeding dispersal was detected in half of the long-term observations. Males therefore seem to be the predominant vectors for gene flow between populations and social units. Females usually stayed within one to two home range diameters of their potential mother, facilitating the evolution of cooperative behaviour by kin selection among females. Most dispersal took place before the mating season, indicating an age of less than 7 months for natal dispersal. The analysis of spatiotemporal coexistence revealed the potential for inbreeding in only 3.8% of the potential mother–son dyads, but in 21.9% of the potential father–daughter dyads and in 41.7% of other closely related male–female dyads.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0003-3472
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:42

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