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Based on the selection decode-and-forward cooperative protocol, a novel distributed quality of service (QoS) aware routing algorithm is proposed to minimise the total energy consumption of the wireless links from the cross-layer design perspective. For the non-cooperative and cooperative truncated automatic repeat request schemes, performance of packet error rate with M-PSK and M-QAM symbols over Nakagami-m fading channels is first analysed, and then system throughput is derived. Subsequently, transmission power is optimally allocated while satisfying the end-to-end throughput requirement. With polynomial complexity, using the traditional distributed shortest path algorithm, the route that includes a cascade of non-cooperative and cooperative building blocks and has the minimal total link cost (defined as the average total consumed power) is constructed to bear the information flow. In contrast to the previous non-cooperative routing schemes, this cooperative routing algorithm can significantly reduce the total energy consumption.