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Helping in Cyanopica

Why helping others? The role of direct fitness benefits within the social-networks in cooperatively breeding azure-winged magpies

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Helping in Cyanopica project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Helping in Cyanopica project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Helping in Cyanopica" about.

breeder    unstructured    mediterranean    lines    cooperators    groups    relative    favours    population    viscosity    winged    generalized    elusive    re    workplan    team    structure    reproductive    integration    breeding    birds    magpie    pedigree    kinship    innovative    populations    breeders    defectors    accrued    relationships    point    fitness    monitored    literature    agrees    contribution    tackled    helpers    paternity    offspring    ess    inclusive    heading    persists    see    natural    rita    era    view    cooperation    cyanopica    obtain    sharing    network    helper    networks    plus    benefits    scientific    potentially    biology    realistic    dr    azure    woman    kin    genetic    social    cooki    remained    cooperative    direct    women    solid    original    maintenance    gap    rearing    questions    individual    monitoring    reciprocity    publications    roles    lifetime    predictions    evolution    covas    interactions    data   

Project "Helping in Cyanopica" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: PORTO
postcode: 4051 401
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Portugal [PT]
 Project website
 Total cost 160˙635 €
 EC max contribution 160˙635 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-CAR
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2017-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

'Current literature on the evolution of cooperation agrees that kin selection cannot explain the benefits accrued by cooperators in many systems. One main gap is the type of direct benefits that helpers obtain in cooperative breeding systems and how they are ESS provided that natural selection favours defectors over cooperators in unstructured populations. Recent advances show that 'social viscosity' can maintain benefits for cooperators. Thus, the study of social-network structure can potentially explain why cooperation persists. This type of approach can only be tackled after a long-term study at individual level. I have monitored a population of cooperative breeding Azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cooki) for more than 20 years. I have pedigree data, their reproductive behaviour in helper and breeder roles, and lifetime reproductive success for many birds. Yet, the reason why helpers contribute to rearing other birds' offspring has remained elusive. Here I will use network approach to previous data plus new monitoring of breeding groups to study: the role of kinship, by using pedigree and genetic analyses; the structure of social networks based on cooperative relationships, to see whether interactions can explain the maintenance of cooperative behaviour from the point of view of reciprocity and generalized reciprocity predictions; potential paternity sharing between breeders and helpers; and the relative roles of different benefits in lifetime inclusive fitness. I will implement the project within the team of Dr. Rita Covas, who has solid experience in the study of cooperative breeding. I present an innovative but realistic workplan to test original questions with new methodologies that are expected to lead to strong publications. The collaboration proposed means the reinforcement of the contribution of Mediterranean biology into ERA, the re-integration of a woman to scientific activity, and the collaboration between women heading research lines in Europe. '


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2015 de la Cruz, C., Valencia, J. & Solís, E.
The importance of replacement clutches and helpers in the reproductive success in Iberian Magpies Cyanopica cooki
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
10th Conference of the European Ornithologist’s Union 2019-07-24
2016 Valencia J, Mateos C, de la Cruz C, Carranza J
Data from: Maternal allocation in eggs when counting on helpers in a cooperatively breeding bird
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.5061/dryad.4n2th
Dryad Digital Repository 2019-07-24
2016 Emeline Mourocq, Pierre Bize, Sandra Bouwhuis, Russell Bradley, Anne Charmantier, Carlos de la Cruz, Szymon M. Drobniak, Richard H. M. Espie, Márton Herényi, Hermann Hötker, Oliver Krüger, John Marzluff, Anders P. Møller, Shinichi Nakagawa, Richard A. Phillips, Andrew N. Radford, Alexandre Roulin, János Török, Juliana Valencia, Martijn van de Pol, Ian G. Warkentin, Isabel S. Winney, Andrew G. Wood, Michael Griesser
Life span and reproductive cost explain interspecific variation in the optimal onset of reproduction
published pages: 296-313, ISSN: 0014-3820, DOI: 10.1111/evo.12853
Evolution 70/2 2019-07-24
2016 Mónica Expósito-Granados, Carlos De La Cruz, Deseada Parejo, Juliana Valencia, Susana Alarcos, Jesús M. Avilés
Exploratory behaviour modulates the relationship between colony familiarity and helping in a cooperative bird
published pages: 9-14, ISSN: 0376-6357, DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.07.013
Behavioural Processes 131 2019-07-24
2016 Valencia, J., Mateos, C., Cruz, C. & Carranza, J.
Maternal allocation in eggs in a cooperatively breeding bird
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
16th Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) 2019-07-24
2017 Juliana Valencia, Concha Mateos, Carlos de la Cruz, Juan Carranza
Maternal allocation in eggs when counting on helpers in a cooperatively breeding bird
published pages: 536-543, ISSN: 0908-8857, DOI: 10.1111/jav.01020
Journal of Avian Biology 48/4 2019-07-24

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