Genetic consequences of social dynamics in the Andean condor: the role of sex and age
JULIAN PADRO; PAULI, JONATHAN N.; PERRIG, PAULA L.; LAMBERTUCCI, SERGIO A.
BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2019
Social living can be facilitated by cooperative advantages, yet also incur in important competitive interactions, leading to complex patterns of spatial genetic structure. Vultures provide a valuable example of complex social animals, with potential conflicts between cooperative and competitive behaviors. Yet, little is known about the sociogenetic structure of this guild because of the inherent difficulties of sampling highly mobile species with large ranges. Herein, we genotyped 300 non-invasive samples from Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) with microsatellite markers to investigate the social dynamics in this highly vagile vulture that possess a despotic social system and communal roosting behavior. We explored the role of age and sex in the dispersion and relatedness patterns of the Andean condor across the central region of Argentina. We provided evidence of age-biased dispersal, supporting the idea that immature condors are largely nomadic using temporary roosting sites during exploratory flights. Our results also insinuated that sex-biased dispersal is age-dependent, with malebiased dispersal during the early life-stage, suggesting habitat exclusion by adult male despotic competition. Finally, our kinship analysis showed that regional clusters are composed of highly related adults, indicating the retention of intergenerational familymembers. Collectively, these results demonstrate that kin associations are driven by adult philopatry and possibly maintained by fitness benefits of social cooperation for this species.