Holarctic Marmots as a factor of Biodiversity.
Rumiantsev V.Yu;, Nikol'skii A.A. & Brandler O.V. eds.,
3d Conference on Marmots (Cheboksary, Russia, 25-30 August 1997),
Moscow ABF 1997, 216p., 44 (Russian), 146 (English).
EVOLUTION OF THE LIFE HISTORY TRAITS AND MOLECULAR PHYLOGENY:
SOCIALITY IN GROUND DWELLING SQUIRRELS AS AN EXAMPLE.
O. Giboulet, R. Ramousse, M. Le Berre
Laboratoire de Socioecologie et Conservation Betiment 403, UCBL1
Villeurbanne Cedex, France
It is generally admitted that causal factors of life history traits (physiological, ecological, genetical) at a given step are probably the specific solution to a given set of selective pressures in relation with the historic constraints of the species phylogeny. With the arrival of molecular phylogeny technics, this idea is again in the writings.
Since a couple of years, the phylogenic approaches in ethology are gaining new interest. Effectively, by comparing the behavioural traits of species which phylogenic relations are well established, it is possible to draw hypotheses about the origin of these behaviours and on their evolution.
Ground dwelling squirrels form a taxonomic group which shows multiple social organisations, from the simplest to the most complex. Classical studies have already tried to determine the causal factors of the evolution of sociality in this group. We tried to approach this problem through a molecular phylogeny of the group, obtained by DNA/DNA hybridization. As previously shown in other studies, using this phylogenic approach provided a new way of considering this problem, which enable us to bild a more synthetic scenario about the social evolution in these animals.
Once again, it appears that ethologists and ecologists can benefit from considering the hypothesis of historical origin in their studies.