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Experimental field evidence that out-group threats influence within-group behaviour

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Experimental field evidence that out-group threats influence within-group behaviour. / Morris-Drake, Amy; Christensen, Charlotte; Kern, Julie M.; Radford, Andrew N.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 30, No. 5, arz095, 28.09.2019, p. 1425-1435.

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Morris-Drake, Amy ; Christensen, Charlotte ; Kern, Julie M. ; Radford, Andrew N. / Experimental field evidence that out-group threats influence within-group behaviour. In: Behavioral Ecology. 2019 ; Vol. 30, No. 5. pp. 1425-1435.

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@article{b43774992c0d43f0a0c6f92627558916,
title = "Experimental field evidence that out-group threats influence within-group behaviour",
abstract = "In social species, conspecific outsiders present various threats to groups and their members. These out-group threats are predicted to affect subsequent within-group interactions (e.g., affiliation and aggression) and individual behavior (e.g., foraging and vigilance decisions). However, experimental investigations of such consequences are rare, especially in natural conditions. We used field-based call playbacks and fecal presentations on habituated wild dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) - a cooperatively breeding, territorial species - to examine postinteraction responses to the simulated threat of a rival group. Dwarf mongooses invested more in grooming of groupmates, foraged closer together, and more regularly acted as sentinels (a raised guard) after encountering indicators of rival-group presence compared to control conditions. These behavioral changes likely arise from greater anxiety and, in the case of increased vigilance, the need to seek additional information about the threat. The influence of an out-group threat lasted at least 1 h but individuals of different dominance status and sex responded similarly, potentially because all group members suffer costs if a contest with rivals is lost. Our results provide field-based experimental evidence from wild animals that out-group threats can influence within-group behavior and decision making, and suggest the need for greater consideration of the lasting impacts of social conflict.",
keywords = "behavioral consequences, conflict, group living, out-group threat, rival group, within-group behavior",
author = "Amy Morris-Drake and Charlotte Christensen and Kern, {Julie M.} and Radford, {Andrew N.}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1093/beheco/arz095",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "1425--1435",
journal = "Behavioral Ecology",
issn = "1045-2249",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "5",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Experimental field evidence that out-group threats influence within-group behaviour

AU - Morris-Drake, Amy

AU - Christensen, Charlotte

AU - Kern, Julie M.

AU - Radford, Andrew N.

PY - 2019/9/28

Y1 - 2019/9/28

N2 - In social species, conspecific outsiders present various threats to groups and their members. These out-group threats are predicted to affect subsequent within-group interactions (e.g., affiliation and aggression) and individual behavior (e.g., foraging and vigilance decisions). However, experimental investigations of such consequences are rare, especially in natural conditions. We used field-based call playbacks and fecal presentations on habituated wild dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) - a cooperatively breeding, territorial species - to examine postinteraction responses to the simulated threat of a rival group. Dwarf mongooses invested more in grooming of groupmates, foraged closer together, and more regularly acted as sentinels (a raised guard) after encountering indicators of rival-group presence compared to control conditions. These behavioral changes likely arise from greater anxiety and, in the case of increased vigilance, the need to seek additional information about the threat. The influence of an out-group threat lasted at least 1 h but individuals of different dominance status and sex responded similarly, potentially because all group members suffer costs if a contest with rivals is lost. Our results provide field-based experimental evidence from wild animals that out-group threats can influence within-group behavior and decision making, and suggest the need for greater consideration of the lasting impacts of social conflict.

AB - In social species, conspecific outsiders present various threats to groups and their members. These out-group threats are predicted to affect subsequent within-group interactions (e.g., affiliation and aggression) and individual behavior (e.g., foraging and vigilance decisions). However, experimental investigations of such consequences are rare, especially in natural conditions. We used field-based call playbacks and fecal presentations on habituated wild dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) - a cooperatively breeding, territorial species - to examine postinteraction responses to the simulated threat of a rival group. Dwarf mongooses invested more in grooming of groupmates, foraged closer together, and more regularly acted as sentinels (a raised guard) after encountering indicators of rival-group presence compared to control conditions. These behavioral changes likely arise from greater anxiety and, in the case of increased vigilance, the need to seek additional information about the threat. The influence of an out-group threat lasted at least 1 h but individuals of different dominance status and sex responded similarly, potentially because all group members suffer costs if a contest with rivals is lost. Our results provide field-based experimental evidence from wild animals that out-group threats can influence within-group behavior and decision making, and suggest the need for greater consideration of the lasting impacts of social conflict.

KW - behavioral consequences

KW - conflict

KW - group living

KW - out-group threat

KW - rival group

KW - within-group behavior

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85073218861&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/beheco/arz095

DO - 10.1093/beheco/arz095

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 1425

EP - 1435

JO - Behavioral Ecology

JF - Behavioral Ecology

SN - 1045-2249

IS - 5

M1 - arz095

ER -