Social preference influences female community structure in a population of wild eastern grey kangaroos

Best, Emily C., Seddon, Jennifer M., Dwyer, Ross G. and Goldizen, Anne W. (2013) Social preference influences female community structure in a population of wild eastern grey kangaroos. Animal Behaviour, 86 5: 1031-1040. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.09.008

Author Best, Emily C.
Seddon, Jennifer M.
Dwyer, Ross G.
Goldizen, Anne W.
Title Social preference influences female community structure in a population of wild eastern grey kangaroos
Journal name Animal Behaviour   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3472
Publication date 2013-11-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.09.008
Volume 86
Issue 5
Start page 1031
End page 1040
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Communities, clusters of individuals who interact socially primarily with each other, are fundamental elements of social structure in many species. Community membership can be influenced by spatial factors and by social preferences resulting from genetic or phenotypic assortment or shared behavioural strategies. Very little is known about community social structure in herbivorous mammals with higher fissionefusion dynamics, which are societies in which group membership frequently changes. Using network analysis on data from 171 wild female eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, a species exhibiting these foraging and social attributes, we quantified the presence of significant, strong community structure. Lagged association rates confirmed the temporal stability of this intermediate-level social tier. Communities’ home ranges overlapped considerably, but their core home ranges were more dispersed, suggesting some influence of spatial factors on community membership. However, community-level social assortment was maintained in areas in which core home ranges overlapped, even though communities used these areas simultaneously, implying that social preferences also influence the presence of communities in female kangaroos. Within-community pairwise relatedness levels based on microsatellite markers were somewhat higher than those across the population, probably because of philopatry, but mitochondrial DNA revealed that communities did not reflect matrilines. This study contributes to the growing literature attempting to understand the factors driving fissionefusion social dynamics by showing that extensive home range overlap among communities can occur in the absence of behaviours usually associated with the maintenance of social preferences.
Keyword Community
Macropus giganteus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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