Cooperative breeding and long-distance dispersal: a test using vagrant records.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23516519

Rusk CL, Walters EL, Koenig WD. Cooperative breeding and long-distance dispersal: a test using vagrant records. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58624.
Cooperative breeding is generally associated with increased philopatry and sedentariness, presumably because short-distance dispersal facilitates the maintenance of kin groups. There are, however, few data on long-distance dispersal in cooperative breeders-the variable likely to be important for genetic diversification and speciation. We tested the hypothesis that cooperative breeders are less likely to engage in long-distance dispersal events by comparing records of vagrants outside their normal geographic range for matched pairs (cooperatively vs. non-cooperatively breeding) of North American species of birds. Results failed to support the hypothesis of reduced long-distance dispersal among cooperative breeders. Thus, our results counter the conclusion that the lower rate of speciation among cooperative breeding taxa found in recent analyses is a consequence of reduced vagility.