Kinship and aggression

Do house sparrows spare their relatives?

Zoltán Tóth, V. Bókony, Ádám Z. Lendvai, Krisztián Szabó, Z. Pénzes, A. Likér

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kin-selection theory predicts that relatedness may reduce the level of aggression among competing group members, leading to indirect fitness benefits for kin-favoring individuals. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether relatedness affects aggressive behavior during social activities in captive house sparrow (Passer domesticus) flocks. We found that sparrows did not reduce their aggression towards kin, as neither the frequency nor the intensity of fights differed between close kin and unrelated flock-mates. Fighting success was also unrelated to kinship and the presence of relatives in the flock did not influence the birds' dominance rank. These results suggest that the pay-offs of reduced aggression towards kin may be low in non-breeding flocks of sparrows, e.g. due to competition among relatives as predicted by a recent refinement of kin-selection theory. Our findings indicate that the significance of kin selection may be restricted in some social systems such as winter aggregations of birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1196
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume63
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

kin selection
Passer domesticus
kinship
aggression
flocks
relatedness
Passeriformes
bird
social behavior
fighting
birds
fitness
dominance (genetics)
winter
testing

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Dominance
  • Genetic relatedness
  • House sparrow
  • Kin discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Kinship and aggression : Do house sparrows spare their relatives? / Tóth, Zoltán; Bókony, V.; Lendvai, Ádám Z.; Szabó, Krisztián; Pénzes, Z.; Likér, A.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 63, No. 8, 06.2009, p. 1189-1196.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tóth, Zoltán ; Bókony, V. ; Lendvai, Ádám Z. ; Szabó, Krisztián ; Pénzes, Z. ; Likér, A. / Kinship and aggression : Do house sparrows spare their relatives?. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2009 ; Vol. 63, No. 8. pp. 1189-1196.
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