Theoretical Population Biology 61:171-195 (2002)Download free pdf
From asexual to eusocial reproduction by multilevel selection by density dependent competitive interactions
Abstract: A game theoretical model is developed to illustrate that multilevel selection by density dependent competitive interactions in mobile organisms might have played a major role in the evolutionary transitions from asexual over sexual to eusocial reproduction. The model has four equilibria with selection occurring among interacting units of respectively one, two, three, and up to infinitely many individuals. The different equilibria are characterised by different levels of competitive interactions among interacting units, and these levels select for different levels of sexual and co-operative reproduction among the individuals of the units. The model predicts: (i) that low-energy organisms with negligible body masses have asexual reproduction; (ii) that high-energy organisms with non-negligible body masses in evolutionary equilibria have sexual reproduction between a female and a male; (iii) that high-energy organisms with non-negligible body masses that increase exponentially at an evolutionary steady state have co-operative reproduction between a sexual pair and a single sexually produced offspring; and (iv) that high-energy organisms with upward constrained body masses have eusocial reproduction between a sexual pair and up to an infinite number of sexually produced offspring workers.
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