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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Shared community effects and the non-genetic maternal environment shape cortisol levels in wild chimpanzees
Author(s): Tkaczynski, Patrick J
Mafessoni, Fabrizio
Girard-Buttoz, Cédric
Samuni, Liran
Ackermann, Corinne Y
Fedurek, Pawel
Gomes, Cristina
Hobaiter, Catherine
Löhrich, Therese
Manin, Virgile
Preis, Anna
Valé, Prince D
Wessling, Erin G
Wittiger, Livia
Zommers, Zinta
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Keywords: General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Medicine (miscellaneous)
Issue Date: 2023
Date Deposited: 27-May-2023
Citation: Tkaczynski PJ, Mafessoni F, Girard-Buttoz C, Samuni L, Ackermann CY, Fedurek P, Gomes C, Hobaiter C, Löhrich T, Manin V, Preis A, Valé PD, Wessling EG, Wittiger L & Zommers Z (2023) Shared community effects and the non-genetic maternal environment shape cortisol levels in wild chimpanzees. <i>Communications Biology</i>, 6, Art. No.: 565.
Abstract: Mechanisms of inheritance remain poorly defined for many fitness-mediating traits, especially in long-lived animals with protracted development. Using 6,123 urinary samples from 170 wild chimpanzees, we examined the contributions of genetics, non-genetic maternal effects, and shared community effects on variation in cortisol levels, an established predictor of survival in long-lived primates. Despite evidence for consistent individual variation in cortisol levels across years, between-group effects were more influential and made an overwhelming contribution to variation in this trait. Focusing on within-group variation, non-genetic maternal effects accounted for 8% of the individual differences in average cortisol levels, significantly more than that attributable to genetic factors, which was indistinguishable from zero. These maternal effects are consistent with a primary role of a shared environment in shaping physiology. For chimpanzees, and perhaps other species with long life histories, community and maternal effects appear more relevant than genetic inheritance in shaping key physiological traits.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s42003-023-04909-9
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. o view a copy of this license, visit
Notes: Additional co-authors: Klaus Zuberbuehler, Linda Vigilant, Tobias Deschner, Roman M. Wittig & Catherine Crockford
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