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Group selection versus group adaptation

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Abstract

Pruitt & Goodnight (hereafter “PG”) describe how the ratio of aggressive versus docile females varies among naturally-occurring colonies of the social spider Anelosimus studiosus – with larger colonies exhibiting more aggression in high-resource environments and the reverse in low-resource environments – and they experimentally manipulate this ratio to show that it influences a colony’s reproductive success. PG conclude that this work demonstrates group-level adaptation and contradicts an earlier theoretical analysis. Here, I show that this conclusion is unfounded and owes to conceptual misunderstanding.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3-E4
JournalNature
Volume524
Issue number7566
Early online date26 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2015

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