Browsing by Subject "KIN SELECTION"

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  • Rautiala, Petri; Helantera, Heikki; Puurtinen, Mikael (2019)
    Evolution of altruistic behavior was a hurdle for the logic of Darwinian evolution. Soon after Hamilton formalized the concept of inclusive fitness, which explains how altruism can evolve, he suggested that the high sororal relatedness brought by haplodiploidy could be why Hymenopterans have a high prevalence in eusocial species, and why helpers in Hymenoptera are always female. Later it was noted that in order to capitalize on the high sororal relatedness, helpers would need to direct help toward sisters, and this would bias the population sex ratio. Under a 1:3 males:females sex ratio, the inclusive fitness valuation a female places on her sister, brother, and an own offspring are equalapparently removing the benefit of helping over independent reproduction. Based on this argumentation, haplodiploidy hypothesis has been considered a red herring. However, here we show that when population sex ratio, cost of altruism, and population growth rate are considered together, haplodiploidy does promote female helping even with female-biased sex ratio, due the lowered cost of altruism in such populations. Our analysis highlights the need to re-evaluate the role of haplodiploidy in the evolution of helping, and the importance of fully exploring the model assumptions when comparing interactions of population sex ratios and social behaviors.
  • Rautiala, Petri; Helantera, Heikki; Puurtinen, Mikael (2018)
    In haplodiploids, females can produce sons from unfertilized eggs without mating. However, virgin reproduction is usually considered to be a result of a failure to mate, rather than an adaptation. Here, we build an analytical model for evolution of virgin reproduction, sex-allocation, and altruistic female helping in haplodiploid taxa. We show that when mating is costly (e.g., when mating increases predation risk), virginity can evolve as an adaptive female reproductive strategy. Furthermore, adaptive virginity results in strongly divergent sex-ratios in mated and virgin queen nests ("split sex ratios"), which promotes the evolution of altruistic helping by daughters in mated queen nests. However, when helpers evolve to be efficient and increase nest production significantly, virgin reproduction is selected against. Our results suggest that adaptive virginity could have been an important stepping stone on the pathway to eusociality in haplodiploids. We further show that virginity can be an adaptive reproductive strategy also in primitively social haplodiploids if workers bias the sex ratio toward females. By remaining virgin, queens are free to produce sons, the more valuable sex in a female-biased population. Our work brings a new dimension to the studies linking reproductive strategies with social evolution.