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Variation in grouping patterns, mating systems and social structure: what socio-ecological models attempt to explain

Koenig, Andreas, Scarry, Clara J., Wheeler, Brandon C, Borries, Carola (2013) Variation in grouping patterns, mating systems and social structure: what socio-ecological models attempt to explain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618). p. 20120348. ISSN 0962-8436. E-ISSN 1471-2970. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0348) (KAR id:53211)

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Socio-ecological models aim to predict the variation in social systems based on a limited number of ecological parameters. Since the 1960s, the original model has taken two paths: one relating to grouping patterns and mating systems and one relating to grouping patterns and female social structure. Here, we review the basic ideas specifically with regard to non-human primates, present new results and point to open questions. While most primates live in permanent groups and exhibit female defence polygyny, recent studies indicate more flexibility with cooperative male resource defence occurring repeatedly in all radiations. In contrast to other animals, the potential link between ecology and these mating systems remains, however, largely unexplored. The model of the ecology of female social structure has often been deemed successful, but has recently been criticized. We show that the predicted association of agonistic rates and despotism (directional consistency of relationships) was not supported in a comparative test. The overall variation in despotism is probably due to phylogenetic grade shifts. At the same time, it varies within clades more or less in the direction predicted by the model. This suggests that the model's utility may lie in predicting social variation within but not across clades.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0348
Uncontrolled keywords: non-human primates; female defence polygyny; resource defence polygyny; contest competition; rate of agonism; directional consistency
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Brandon Wheeler
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2016 14:06 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wheeler, Brandon C:
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