Navigation Links
Love or kill thy neighbor? New study into animal social behavior
Date:3/6/2014

A theoretical study led by the University of Exeter has shed new light on the conditions that lead to the evolution of spite or altruism in structured populations.

Understanding the way in which social behaviours such as altruism when animals benefit others at their own expense develop is a long-standing problem that has generated thousands of articles and heated debates.

Dr Florence Dbarre of Biosciences at the University of Exeter led a study, published today in Nature Communications, which presents a comprehensive framework that applies to a large class of population structures and identifies the crucial elements which support the evolution of social behaviour.

Structured populations are those exhibiting either spatial or social structure. This can range from animals living in social groups - like meerkats - to bacteria in biofilms.

In these populations altruism evolves if, for individuals, the social benefit of living next to others outweighs the costs of competing against them.

Traditionally, population modellers have assumed that the direct benefits and costs of social interactions affect the ability to produce offspring (the fecundity). In natural populations, however, social interactions may also affect survival.

Dr Dbarre and her collaborators combined these two features in their model, which revealed new insights. It turns out that helping your neighbours reproduce more or helping them live for longer does not have the same indirect consequences on your own fitness. These indirect consequences are crucial, and determine which type of social behaviour (helping, harming or doing nothing) can evolve.

When competition is fierce because space is so limited that an individual can only reproduce after some space has been freed up by the death of a neighbour, the researcher's results show that the social behaviours that are most advantageous are the ones in which individuals make their neighbours die sooner but at the same time help them reproduce. In other terms, the interaction is spiteful when it comes to survival, but altruistic on fecundity.

Dr Dbarre, who is based at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall, said: "In structured populations, social behaviour evolves if, for social individuals, the net social benefit of living next to other social individuals outweighs the costs of competing against them. We show that the latter depends on the way the population is updated, the type of social game that is played, and on how social interactions affect individual fertility and survival.

"There are ongoing and sometimes very heated debates on which mechanisms favour the evolution of social behaviour. Our mathematical framework also aims at reconciling these different approaches, and shows that they mainly correspond to different viewpoints of the same questions, depending on if we want to give explanations in terms of who is giving benefits to others, or who is receiving benefits."


'/>"/>

Contact: Eleanor Gaskarth
e.f.gaskarth@exeter.ac.uk
44-782-730-9332
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Love or kill thy neighbor? New study into animal social behavior
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016 This BCC ... future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market ... such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and ... various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing ... Identify the main factors affecting each segment and forecast ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a ... solutions, today announced the addition of smart features ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific ... step-up security where it,s needed most — while ... DC . --> Washington, ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... -- FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, awarded five FLEXI ... Leadership in Education, and, in a category new this ... year of the FLEXI Awards and the winners join ... past years . Judging was done on a set ... by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, industry experts. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly ... and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group and the University of Santiago Biotechnology Lab have ... for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 – 2020. , In 2015, ... establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to promote stem cell research and development ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, ... ... company for healthcare, today announced that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as ... 14 years of experience bringing innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... ... This unique "Fertility Happy Hour" event will be held at The Saguaro Hotel ... on female fertility and the reproductive technologies that are empowering a new generation of ... The Arizona Center, will give a short presentation and answer questions about age ...
Breaking Biology Technology: