Towards greater realism in inclusive fitness models: the case of worker reproduction in insect societies
Wenseleers, Tom × Helantera, Heikki Alves, Denise A Duenez-Guzman, Edgar Pamilo, Pekka #
The Royal Society
Biology Letters vol:9 pages:20130334-20130334
The conflicts over sex allocation and male production in insect societies have long served as an important test bed for Hamilton's theory of inclusive fitness, but have for the most part been considered separately. Here, we develop new coevolutionary models to examine the interaction between these two conflicts and demonstrate that sex ratio and colony productivity costs of worker reproduction can lead to vastly different outcomes even in species that show no variation in their relatedness structure. Empirical data on worker-produced males in eight species of Melipona bees support the predictions from a model that takes into account the demographic details of colony growth and reproduction. Overall, these models contribute significantly to explaining behavioural variation that previous theories could not account for.