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Rapid evolution of cooperation in group-living animals.

Franz M, Schülke O, Ostner J - BMC Evol. Biol. (2013)

Bottom Line: In contrast, at low frequencies of cooperators rapid evolutionary dynamics lead to a decrease in assortment, which acts against the evolution of cooperation.Rapid evolutionary dynamics can emerge in this case because sufficiently strong selective pressures allow evolutionary and demographic dynamics, and consequently also feedback between assortment and evolution, to occur on the same timescale.In particular, emerging positive frequency-dependent selection could be an important explanation for differences in cooperative behaviors among different species with similar population structures such as humans and chimpanzees.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Courant Research Center Evolution of Social Behavior, University of Göttingen, Kellnerweg 6, Göttingen 37077, Germany. mathias.franz@duke.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: It is often assumed that evolution takes place on very large timescales. Countering this assumption, rapid evolutionary dynamics are increasingly documented in biological systems, e.g. in the context of predator-prey interactions, species coexistence and invasion. It has also been shown that rapid evolution can facilitate the evolution of cooperation. In this context often evolutionary dynamics influence population dynamics, but in spatial models rapid evolutionary dynamics also emerge with constant population sizes. Currently it is not clear how well these spatial models apply to species in which individuals are not embedded in fixed spatial structures. To address this issue we employ an agent-based model of group living individuals. We investigate how positive assortment between cooperators and defectors and pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors depend on the occurrence of evolutionary dynamics.

Results: We find that positive assortment and pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors differ when comparing scenarios with and without selection, which indicates that rapid evolutionary dynamics are occurring in the selection scenarios. Specifically, rapid evolution occurs because changes in positive assortment feed back on evolutionary dynamics, which crucially impacts the evolution of cooperation. At high frequencies of cooperators these feedback dynamics increase positive assortment facilitating the evolution of cooperation. In contrast, at low frequencies of cooperators rapid evolutionary dynamics lead to a decrease in assortment, which acts against the evolution of cooperation. The contrasting dynamics at low and high frequencies of cooperators create positive frequency-dependent selection.

Conclusions: Rapid evolutionary dynamics can influence the evolution of cooperation in group-living species and lead to positive frequency-dependent selection even if population size and maximum group-size are not affected by evolutionary dynamics. Rapid evolutionary dynamics can emerge in this case because sufficiently strong selective pressures allow evolutionary and demographic dynamics, and consequently also feedback between assortment and evolution, to occur on the same timescale. In particular, emerging positive frequency-dependent selection could be an important explanation for differences in cooperative behaviors among different species with similar population structures such as humans and chimpanzees.

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Assortment at different cost-benefit ratios and different frequencies of cooperators. Blue areas indicate high positive assortment and red values indicate low positive assortment between cooperators. (a, b, c) Scenarios without selection (s = 0). (d, e, f) Matching scenarios with selection (s = 0.5). (g, h, i) Differences in assortment between scenarios with and without selection. (a), (d), (g) Baseline scenario, maximal group size nmax = 10, individual migration rate m = 0.02. (b, e, h) Increased migration rate (nmax = 10, m = 0.05). (c, f, i) Decreased group size (nmax = 5, m = 0.02).
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Figure 1: Assortment at different cost-benefit ratios and different frequencies of cooperators. Blue areas indicate high positive assortment and red values indicate low positive assortment between cooperators. (a, b, c) Scenarios without selection (s = 0). (d, e, f) Matching scenarios with selection (s = 0.5). (g, h, i) Differences in assortment between scenarios with and without selection. (a), (d), (g) Baseline scenario, maximal group size nmax = 10, individual migration rate m = 0.02. (b, e, h) Increased migration rate (nmax = 10, m = 0.05). (c, f, i) Decreased group size (nmax = 5, m = 0.02).

Mentions: In the absence of selection (s = 0) assortment and thus pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors are not frequency dependent, except for extreme frequencies where assortment drops and cooperators receive smaller average pay-offs (Figures 1, 2). At very high and very low frequencies of cooperators assortment is very low. The reason for this is most apparent in the case in which there is only a single cooperator in a population of defectors. A single cooperator cannot interact with other cooperators, which means that no assortment of cooperators is possible and therefore a single cooperator also cannot obtain a greater pay-off than the average defector.


Rapid evolution of cooperation in group-living animals.

Franz M, Schülke O, Ostner J - BMC Evol. Biol. (2013)

Assortment at different cost-benefit ratios and different frequencies of cooperators. Blue areas indicate high positive assortment and red values indicate low positive assortment between cooperators. (a, b, c) Scenarios without selection (s = 0). (d, e, f) Matching scenarios with selection (s = 0.5). (g, h, i) Differences in assortment between scenarios with and without selection. (a), (d), (g) Baseline scenario, maximal group size nmax = 10, individual migration rate m = 0.02. (b, e, h) Increased migration rate (nmax = 10, m = 0.05). (c, f, i) Decreased group size (nmax = 5, m = 0.02).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231370&req=5

Figure 1: Assortment at different cost-benefit ratios and different frequencies of cooperators. Blue areas indicate high positive assortment and red values indicate low positive assortment between cooperators. (a, b, c) Scenarios without selection (s = 0). (d, e, f) Matching scenarios with selection (s = 0.5). (g, h, i) Differences in assortment between scenarios with and without selection. (a), (d), (g) Baseline scenario, maximal group size nmax = 10, individual migration rate m = 0.02. (b, e, h) Increased migration rate (nmax = 10, m = 0.05). (c, f, i) Decreased group size (nmax = 5, m = 0.02).
Mentions: In the absence of selection (s = 0) assortment and thus pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors are not frequency dependent, except for extreme frequencies where assortment drops and cooperators receive smaller average pay-offs (Figures 1, 2). At very high and very low frequencies of cooperators assortment is very low. The reason for this is most apparent in the case in which there is only a single cooperator in a population of defectors. A single cooperator cannot interact with other cooperators, which means that no assortment of cooperators is possible and therefore a single cooperator also cannot obtain a greater pay-off than the average defector.

Bottom Line: In contrast, at low frequencies of cooperators rapid evolutionary dynamics lead to a decrease in assortment, which acts against the evolution of cooperation.Rapid evolutionary dynamics can emerge in this case because sufficiently strong selective pressures allow evolutionary and demographic dynamics, and consequently also feedback between assortment and evolution, to occur on the same timescale.In particular, emerging positive frequency-dependent selection could be an important explanation for differences in cooperative behaviors among different species with similar population structures such as humans and chimpanzees.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Courant Research Center Evolution of Social Behavior, University of Göttingen, Kellnerweg 6, Göttingen 37077, Germany. mathias.franz@duke.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: It is often assumed that evolution takes place on very large timescales. Countering this assumption, rapid evolutionary dynamics are increasingly documented in biological systems, e.g. in the context of predator-prey interactions, species coexistence and invasion. It has also been shown that rapid evolution can facilitate the evolution of cooperation. In this context often evolutionary dynamics influence population dynamics, but in spatial models rapid evolutionary dynamics also emerge with constant population sizes. Currently it is not clear how well these spatial models apply to species in which individuals are not embedded in fixed spatial structures. To address this issue we employ an agent-based model of group living individuals. We investigate how positive assortment between cooperators and defectors and pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors depend on the occurrence of evolutionary dynamics.

Results: We find that positive assortment and pay-off differences between cooperators and defectors differ when comparing scenarios with and without selection, which indicates that rapid evolutionary dynamics are occurring in the selection scenarios. Specifically, rapid evolution occurs because changes in positive assortment feed back on evolutionary dynamics, which crucially impacts the evolution of cooperation. At high frequencies of cooperators these feedback dynamics increase positive assortment facilitating the evolution of cooperation. In contrast, at low frequencies of cooperators rapid evolutionary dynamics lead to a decrease in assortment, which acts against the evolution of cooperation. The contrasting dynamics at low and high frequencies of cooperators create positive frequency-dependent selection.

Conclusions: Rapid evolutionary dynamics can influence the evolution of cooperation in group-living species and lead to positive frequency-dependent selection even if population size and maximum group-size are not affected by evolutionary dynamics. Rapid evolutionary dynamics can emerge in this case because sufficiently strong selective pressures allow evolutionary and demographic dynamics, and consequently also feedback between assortment and evolution, to occur on the same timescale. In particular, emerging positive frequency-dependent selection could be an important explanation for differences in cooperative behaviors among different species with similar population structures such as humans and chimpanzees.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus