Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation

@article{West2007EvolutionaryEF,
  title={Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation},
  author={Stuart Andrew West and Ashleigh S. Griffin and Andy Gardner},
  journal={Current Biology},
  year={2007},
  volume={17},
  pages={R661-R672}
}

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References

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Five mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation are discussed: kin selection, direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocities, network reciprocation, group selection, and group selection.

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The results show that higher levels of cooperative siderophore production evolve in the higher relatedness treatments, but that more local competition selects for lower levels of siderophile production, and that there is a significant interaction between relatedness and the scale of competition.

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Three general models by which cooperation can evolve and be maintained are distinguished: directed reciprocation—cooperation with individuals who give in return; shared genes— cooperation with relatives (e.g., kin selection); and byproduct benefits —cooperation as an incidental consequence of selfish action.

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A conceptual overview of the different mechanisms through which cooperative behaviours can be stabilized is provided, emphasizing the aspects most relevant to microorganisms, the novel problems that microorganisms pose and the new insights that can be gained from applying evolutionary theory to micro organisms.

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Competition between relatives can reduce, and even totally negate, the kin-selected benefits of altruism toward relatives, and has demonstrated the generality of the effect of competition between relatives.

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