Peter Nonacs

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Recent evolutionary models of reproductive partitioning within animal societies (known as 'optimal skew', 'concessions' or 'transactional' models) predict that a dominant individual will often yield some fraction of the group's reproduction to a subordinate as an incentive to stay in the group and help rear the dominant's offspring. These models(More)
Phylogenetic analyses strongly associate nonsocial ancestors of cooperatively-breeding or eusocial species with monogamy. Because monogamy creates high-relatedness family groups, kin selection has been concluded to drive the evolution of cooperative breeding (i.e., the monogamy hypothesis). Although kin selection is criticized as inappropriate for modeling(More)
  • Peter Nonacs
  • Evolution; international journal of organic…
  • 1988
Using a series of kin-selection models, I examine factors that favor multiple egg-laying queens (polygyny) in eusocial Hymenoptera colonies. One result is that there is a theoretical conflict of interest between the founding queens and their daughter workers over how many and which individuals should be the extra reproductives. Both castes should prefer(More)
Genetic diversity in species is often high in spite of directional selection or strong genetic drift. One resolution to this paradox may be through fitness benefits arising from interactions of genetically diverse individuals. Advantageous phenotypes that are impossible in single individuals (e.g. being simultaneously bold and shy) can be expressed by(More)
Many "workers" in north temperate colonies of the eusocial paper wasp Polistes fuscatus disappear within a few days of eclosion. We provide evidence that these females are pursuing an alternative reproductive strategy, i.e., dispersing to overwinter and become nest foundresses the following spring, instead of helping to rear brood on their natal nests. A(More)
Cooperative breeders often exhibit reproductive skew, where dominant individuals reproduce more than subordinates. Two approaches derived from Hamilton's inclusive fitness model predict when subordinate behavior is favored over living solitarily. The assured fitness return (AFR) model predicts that subordinates help when they are highly likely to gain(More)
A major evolutionary question is how reproductive sharing arises in cooperatively breeding species despite the inherent reproductive conflicts in social groups. Reproductive skew theory offers one potential solution: each group member gains or is allotted inclusive fitness equal to or exceeding their expectation from reproducing on their own. Unfortunately,(More)
Many species of territorial animals are more aggressive toward strangers than neighbors, a pattern of aggression referred to as the ’dear-enemy phenomenon.’ In many cases, the mechanism by which neighbors are discriminated from strangers and the function of neighbor-stranger discrimination remain controversial. We investigated the spatial patterns of(More)
Developmental maternal effects are a potentially important source of phenotypic variation, but they can be difficult to distinguish from other environmental factors. This is an important distinction within the context of social evolution, because if variation in offspring helping behavior is due to maternal manipulation, social selection may act on maternal(More)
Adoption of abandoned or orphaned nests by adult females occurs commonly during the colony-founding period of the primitively eusocial paper wasp, Polistes dominulus. Our evidence indicates that adoption reflects: (1) 'making the best of a bad situation,' for queens who have lost their nests; (2) subordinates leaving multiple-foundress associations; and (3)(More)