Density-dependent mortality and the evolution of social interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Existing models of kin selection implicitly assume that the intensity of density-dependent mortality depends on the size or density of the entire deme. If individuals compete for locally limited resources, then mortality may also depend on local population density. In this paper, I derive conditions for evolutionary equilibrium when the fitness of an individual depends on (1) the phenotypes of a local group of conspecifics with which it interacts and (2) the size of the local group. In general, altruistic behaviours which reduce the individual fitness of the actor but increase that of the recipient are favoured towards individuals whose coefficient of relationship exceeds a threshold value. 'Harming' behaviours which reduce the individual fitness of both the actor and the recipient are favoured towards individuals below this threshold value. The magnitude of this threshold depends on the nature of the processes that cause density-dependent mortality and the average coefficient of relationship in the group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-982
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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