Document Detail

Population viscosity can promote the evolution of altruistic sterile helpers and eusociality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18460428     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Because it increases relatedness between interacting individuals, population viscosity has been proposed to favour the evolution of altruistic helping. However, because it increases local competition between relatives, population viscosity may also act as a brake for the evolution of helping behaviours. In simple models, the kin selected fecundity benefits of helping are exactly cancelled out by the cost of increased competition between relatives when helping occurs after dispersal. This result has lead to the widespread view, especially among people working with social organisms, that special conditions are required for the evolution of altruism. Here, we re-examine this result by constructing a simple population genetic model where we analyse whether the evolution of a sterile worker caste (i.e. an extreme case of altruism) can be selected for by limited dispersal. We show that a sterile worker caste can be selected for even under the simplest life-cycle assumptions. This has relevant consequences for our understanding of the evolution of altruism in social organisms, as many social insects are characterized by limited dispersal and significant genetic population structure.
Laurent Lehmann; Virginie Ravigné; Laurent Keller
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  275     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-01     Completed Date:  2008-09-23     Revised Date:  2013-06-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1887-95     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Evolution*
Competitive Behavior*
Models, Genetic*
Population Dynamics
Selection, Genetic*

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