Experimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder

Lyanne Brouwer & Andrew Cockburn
The paradox of cooperative breeding ­whereby individuals assist others instead of reproducing independently­ is generally explained through ecological constraints, but experimental evidence is scant. Here we performed the crucial test of the role of habitat saturation through experimental creation of vacancies and find that despite abundant presence of potential mates, subordinates are reluctant to disperse into suitable vacant habitat where conspecifics are absent. We argue that sudden disappearance of multiple group members might indicate a...
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These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?