The benefits of help in cooperative birds – non-existent or difficult to detect?
In birds that breed cooperatively in family groups, adult offspring often delay dispersal to assist the breeding pair in raising their young. Kin selection is thought to play an important role in the evolution of this breeding system. However, evidence supporting the underlying assumption that helpers increase the reproductive success of breeders is inconsistent. In 10 out of 19 species where the effect of helpers on breeder reproductive success has been estimated while controlling for the ef...Expand abstract
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