ABS 2022
Female red deer sociality increases survival, lifetime reproductive success and calves' survival      
Sebastian Sosa1,2, Kathreen Ruckstuhl3, Josephine Pemberton4, Fiona Guinness5, Tim Clutton-Brock5. 1Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, , France; 2IPHC, UMR 7178, Strasbourg, , France; 3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, , Canada; 4Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, , United Kingdom; 5Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, , United Kingdom

Research on individual sociality has permitted major advances because of its multiple implications on ecology and evolution. While an increasing number of studies evaluate how individuals' sociality traits affect their reproductive success, Darwin’s theory of evolution suggests that a trait affects both survival and reproductive success (i.e. fitness). Yet, few studies have estimated simultaneously these aspects in individual sociality traits. Here, we assessed the effects of individual sociality traits on both survival and reproductive success in a wild population of red deer. Moreover, individuals’ reproductive success is not only about the number of offspring produced, but also about those that reach sexual maturity. Thus, we also evaluated if mothers' sociality affects calves' survival during their first year of life, and further estimated if the loss of the mother affects individuals’ sociality traits throughout adulthood. By demonstrating positive effects of individuals' sociality traits on life history traits which represent the substrate for natural selection, we show that sociality traits can be considered fully-fledged adaptive traits (i.e. undergoing natural selection).