Title: A general model for the evolution of mutualisms
Authors: Foster, Kevin R. ×
Wenseleers, Tom #
Issue Date: Jun-2006
Series Title: Journal of evolutionary biology vol:19 issue:4 pages:1283-93
Abstract: The evolution of mutualisms presents a puzzle. Why does selection favour cooperation among species rather than cheaters that accept benefits but provide nothing in return? Here we present a general model that predicts three key factors will be important in mutualism evolution: (i) high benefit to cost ratio, (ii) high within-species relatedness and (iii) high between-species fidelity. These factors operate by moderating three types of feedback benefit from mutualism: cooperator association, partner-fidelity feedback and partner choice. In defining the relationship between these processes, our model also allows an assessment of their relative importance. Importantly, the model suggests that phenotypic feedbacks (partner-fidelity feedback, partner choice) are a more important explanation for between-species cooperation than the development of genetic correlations among species (cooperator association). We explain the relationship of our model to existing theories and discuss the empirical evidence for our predictions.
ISSN: 1010-061X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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