The reach of gene–culture coevolution in animals

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Whitehead , H , Laland , K , Rendell , L , Thorogood , R & Whiten , A 2019 , ' The reach of gene–culture coevolution in animals ' , Nature Communications , vol. 10 , 2405 .

Title: The reach of gene–culture coevolution in animals
Author: Whitehead, Hal; Laland, Kevin; Rendell, Luke; Thorogood, Rose; Whiten, Andrew
Contributor organization: Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Evolution, Sociality & Behaviour
Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE
Date: 2019-06-03
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
Abstract: Culture (behaviour based on socially transmitted information) is present in diverse animal species, yet how it interacts with genetic evolution remains largely unexplored. Here, we review the evidence for gene–culture coevolution in animals, especially birds, cetaceans and primates. We describe how culture can relax or intensify selection under different circumstances, create new selection pressures by changing ecology or behaviour, and favour adaptations, including in other species. Finally, we illustrate how, through culturally mediated migration and assortative mating, culture can shape population genetic structure and diversity. This evidence suggests strongly that animal culture plays an important evolutionary role, and we encourage explicit analyses of gene–culture coevolution in nature.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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