Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Does kin discrimination promote cooperation?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Gonçalo Faria, Andy Gardner

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Genetic relatedness is a key driver of the evolution of cooperation. One mechanism that may ensure social partners are genetically related is kin discrimination, in which individuals are able to distinguish kin from non-kin and adjust their behaviour accordingly. However, the impact of kin discrimination upon the overall level of cooperation remains obscure. Specifically, while kin discrimination allows an individual to help more-related social partners over less-related social partners, it is unclear whether and how the population average level of cooperation that is evolutionarily favoured should differ under kin discrimination versus indiscriminate social behaviour. Here, we perform a general mathematical analysis in order to assess whether, when and in which direction kin discrimination changes the average level of cooperation in an evolving population. We find that kin discrimination may increase, decrease or leave unchanged the average level of cooperation, depending upon whether the optimal level of cooperation is a convex, concave or linear function of genetic relatedness. We develop an extension of the classic ‘tragedy of the commons' model of cooperation in order to provide an illustration of these results. Our analysis provides a method to guide future research on the evolutionary consequences of kin discrimination.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190742
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date18 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Altruism, Inclusive fitness, Jensen's inequality, Kin selection, Kin recognition, Veil of ignorance

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Adjustment of sex allocation to co-foundress number and kinship under local mate competition: an inclusive-fitness analysis

    Gardner, A. & Hardy, I., 18 Nov 2020, In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Early View, 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. A gene’s-eye view of sexual antagonism

    Hitchcock, T. & Gardner, A., 12 Aug 2020, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 287, 1932, 9 p., 20201633.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Kin discrimination and demography modulate patterns of sexual conflict

    Faria, G., Gardner, A. & Carazo, P., 25 May 2020, In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. First Online

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Price's equation made clear

    Gardner, A., Apr 2020, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 375, 1797, 7 p., 20190361.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. The demography of human warfare can drive sex differences in altruism

    Micheletti, A. J. C., Ruxton, G. D. & Gardner, A., 20 Feb 2020, In: Evolutionary Human Sciences. 2, 15 p., e7.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Graeme Douglas Ruxton (Editor)

    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Karen Anne Spencer (Member of editorial board)

    1 Apr 2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Biology Letters (Journal)

    David Michael Shuker (Member of editorial board)

    2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Josep Call (Member of editorial board)

    20072013

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Richard William Byrne (Member of editorial board)

    20072012

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Can behaviour impede evolution? Persistence of singing effort after morphological song loss in crickets

    Rayner, J. G., Schneider, W. & Bailey, N. W., Jun 2020, In: Biology Letters. 16, 6, 5 p., 20190931.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution

    Pereira, A. S., Kavanagh, E., Hobaiter, C., Slocombe, K. E. & R. Lameira, A., 27 May 2020, In: Biology Letters. 16, 5, 20200232.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Examining the mechanisms underlying the acquisition of animal tool behaviour

    Bandini, E., Motes-Rodrigo, A., Steele, M. P., Rutz, C. & Tennie, C., 24 Jun 2020, In: Biology Letters. 16, 6, 6 p., 20200122.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Partitioning colony size variation into growth and partial mortality

    Madin, J. S., Baird, A. H., Baskett, M. L., Connolly, S. R. & Dornelas, M. A., 22 Jan 2020, In: Biology Letters. 16, 1, 2019.0727.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 266433347

Top