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Sex-biased dispersal of adults mediates the evolution of altruism among juveniles

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Abstract

Population viscosity has been proposed as an important mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. The idea is that if individuals do not disperse far during the course of their lives, they will tend to interact with their genealogical relatives, which may give kin-selected benefits for cooperation. However, in the simplest model of population structure, the evolution of cooperation is unaffected by the rate of dispersal, owing to dispersal also mediating competition between social partners. This surprising result has generated much research interest in recent years. Here I show that dispersal does matter if there is a sex difference in dispersal rate, even when the expression of cooperation is not conditional upon the actor's dispersal status or sex. In particular, I show that cooperation among juveniles is relatively favoured when there is a small sex bias in adult dispersal in favour of the sex with the greatest variance in reproductive success, and is relatively disfavoured when this sex bias is large or in the opposite direction. This is because dispersal by individuals of each sex can have different consequences for the genetic structure of the population. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume262
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2010

    Research areas

  • Cooperation, Hamilton's rule, Inclusive fitness, Kin selection, Viscosity, KIN SELECTION, INCLUSIVE FITNESS, VISCOUS POPULATIONS, OVERLAPPING GENERATIONS, COOPERATION, BEHAVIOR, MODEL, RATIO, RELATIVES, CONFLICT

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