Can Selfish Symbioses Effect Higher-Level Selection?

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Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_34126E4E90B8
Type
A part of a book
Collection
Publications
Title
Can Selfish Symbioses Effect Higher-Level Selection?
Title of the book
Advances in Artificial Life. Darwin Meets von Neumann
Author(s)
Watson R., Palmius N., Mills R., Powers S. T., Penn A. S.
Publisher
Springer
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2011
Editor
Kampis G., Karsai I., Szathmáry E.
Volume
5778/2011
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Pages
27-36
Language
english
Abstract
The role of symbiosis in macro-evolution is poorly understood. On the one hand, symbiosis seems to be a perfectly normal manifestation of individual selection, on the other hand, in some of the major transitions in evolution it seems to be implicated in the creation of new higher-level units of selection. Here we present a model of individual selection for symbiotic relationships where individuals can genetically specify traits which partially control which other species they associate with - i.e. they can evolve species-specific grouping. We find that when the genetic evolution of symbiotic relationships occurs slowly compared to ecological population dynamics, symbioses form which canalise the combinations of species that commonly occur at local ESSs into new units of selection. Thus even though symbioses will only evolve if they are beneficial to the individual, we find that the symbiotic groups that form are selectively significant and result in combinations of species that are more cooperative than would be possible under individual selection. These findings thus provide a systematic mechanism for creating significant higher-level selective units from individual selection, and support the notion of a significant and systematic role of symbiosis in macro-evolution.
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22/01/2012 21:18
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20/08/2019 13:20
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