Article: article from journal or magazin.
How life history and demography promote or inhibit the evolution of helping behaviours.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
In natural populations, dispersal tends to be limited so that individuals are in local competition with their neighbours. As a consequence, most behaviours tend to have a social component, e.g. they can be selfish, spiteful, cooperative or altruistic as usually considered in social evolutionary theory. How social behaviours translate into fitness costs and benefits depends considerably on life-history features, as well as on local demographic and ecological conditions. Over the last four decades, evolutionists have been able to explore many of the consequences of these factors for the evolution of social behaviours. In this paper, we first recall the main theoretical concepts required to understand social evolution. We then discuss how life history, demography and ecology promote or inhibit the evolution of helping behaviours, but the arguments developed for helping can be extended to essentially any social trait. The analysis suggests that, on a theoretical level, it is possible to contrast three critical benefit-to-cost ratios beyond which costly helping is selected for (three quantitative rules for the evolution of altruism). But comparison between theoretical results and empirical data has always been difficult in the literature, partly because of the perennial question of the scale at which relatedness should be measured under localized dispersal. We then provide three answers to this question.
Alleles, Biological Evolution, Helping Behavior, Models, Genetic, Phenotype, Population Dynamics, Selection, Genetic/genetics
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