Browsing by Subject "inclusive fitness"

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  • Hakala, Sanja Maria; Seppä, Perttu; Helanterä, Heikki (2019)
    The extreme diversity of dispersal strategies in ants is unique among terrestrial animals. The nature of ant colonies as social, perennial, and sessile superorganisms is the basis for understanding this diversity, together with the inclusive-fitness framework for social evolution. We review ant dispersal strategies, with the aim of identifying future research directions on ant dispersal and its evolution. We list ultimate and proximate determinants of dispersal traits and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of dispersal for population structures and dynamics, as well as species communities. We outline the eco-evolutionary feedbacks between the multitude of traits affecting dispersal evolution and the likely evolutionary routes and ecological drivers in transitions among the diverse ant dispersal strategies. We conclude by presenting a research framework to fill the gaps in current knowledge, including comparative studies of colony life histories and population structures and theoretical models of the eco-evolutionary dynamics affecting dispersal, in an inclusive-fitness framework.
  • 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.
  • Vitikainen, Emma I. K.; Thompson, Faye J.; Marshall, Harry H.; Cant, Michael A. (2019)
    Kin selection theory defines the conditions for which altruism or 'helping' can be favoured by natural selection. Tests of this theory in cooperatively breeding animals have focused on the short-term benefits to the recipients of help, such as improved growth or survival to adulthood. However, research on early-life effects suggests that there may be more durable, lifelong fitness impacts to the recipients of help, which in theory should strengthen selection for helping. Here, we show in cooperatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) that care received in the first 3 months of life has lifelong fitness benefits for both male and female recipients. In this species, adult helpers called 'escorts' form exclusive one-to-one caring relationships with specific pups (not their own offspring), allowing us to isolate the effects of being escorted on later reproduction and survival. Pups that were more closely escorted were heavier at sexual maturity, which was associated with higher lifetime reproductive success for both sexes. Moreover, for female offspring, lifetime reproductive success increased with the level of escorting received per se, over and above any effect on body mass. Our results suggest that early-life social care has durable benefits to offspring of both sexes in this species. Given the well-established developmental effects of early-life care in laboratory animals and humans, we suggest that similar effects are likely to be widespread in social animals more generally. We discuss some of the implications of durable fitness benefits for the evolution of intergenerational helping in cooperative animal societies, including humans. This article is part of the theme issue 'Developing differences: early-life effects and evolutionary medicine'.
  • Walin, Laura (University of Helsinki, 1996)