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Communication chimique chez un mammifère social et monogame : rôle dans la sélection sexuelle et les relations entre groupes?

Abstract : Chemical communication (or olfaction) is the most common form of communication in the animal kingdom and plays an essential role in mediating social and reproductive behaviour. During my Ph.D. thesis, I study the role of chemical communication in a social species, the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota). I was first interested in the role of olfaction in sexual selection context. The Alpine marmot is a cooperative breeder and only the dominant pair access to the reproduction, generating an intense intra-sexual competition for access to reproduction. By analysing anal gland secretions of 154 individuals with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, I found that anal gland secretions could inform on sexual maturity, social status and sex. This information may be involved in intra-sexual competition in this species. Furthermore, although being a socially monogamous species, extra-pair paternity occurs in the Alpine marmot. Females choose males with an optimal genetic compatibility (relatedness and genotype to the Major Histocompatibility Complex). By analysing anal gland secretions of 63 sexually mature marmots, I found a significant concordance between chemical distance and relatedness, allowing females to assess the genetic compatibility of the potential partners. Finally, the Alpine marmot as being a territorial species, I was interested in the role of olfaction in relations between groups. For this, I tested the "dear enemy" hypothesis and I highlighted that any stranger to the social group is considered as an enemy of the group. To conclude, chemical communication plays an essential role in social and reproductive interactions in social species
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Timothée Zidat. Communication chimique chez un mammifère social et monogame : rôle dans la sélection sexuelle et les relations entre groupes?. Evolution [q-bio.PE]. Université de Lyon, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1072⟩. ⟨tel-02877226⟩

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