Spite and the scale of competition

A Gardner*, SA West

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years there has been a large body of theoretical work examining how local competition can reduce and even remove selection for altruism between relatives. However, it is less well appreciated that local competition favours selection for spite, the relatively neglected ugly sister of altruism. Here, we use extensions of social evolution theory that were formulated to deal with the consequences for altruism of competition between social partners, to illustrate several points on the evolution of spite. Specifically, we show that: (i) the conditions for the evolution of spite are less restrictive than previously assumed; (ii) previous models which have demonstrated selection for spite often implicitly assumed local competition; (iii) the scale of competition must be allowed for when distinguishing different forms of spite (Hamiltonian vs. Wilsonian); (iv) local competition can enhance the spread of spiteful greenbeards; and (v) the theory makes testable predictions for how the extent of spite should vary dependent upon population structure and average relatedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1203
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Hamiltonian spite
  • hard selection
  • kin competition
  • negative relatedness
  • Price equation
  • soft selection
  • Wilsonian spite
  • BROOD SEX-RATIOS
  • KIN SELECTION
  • EUSOCIAL HYMENOPTERA
  • INCLUSIVE FITNESS
  • SELFISH GENES
  • CYTOPLASMIC INCOMPATIBILITY
  • WORKER REPRODUCTION
  • VISCOUS POPULATIONS
  • SOCIAL INSECTS
  • FIG WASPS

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