Evol Ecol Res 2: 3-14 (2000)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The selection of social actions in families: I. A collective fitness approach

David G. Lloyd

Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


Here I analyse the basic properties of relatedness, inclusive fitness and kin selection, and derive alternative ways of formulating the selection of social behaviours. In particular, a ‘collective fitness’ rule is sought, which determines the direction of selection on a gene in terms of the effect an act has on the fitness of various individuals in a population, and the number of copies of the ‘action’ allele in various individuals in the population. The use of collective fitness allows for all the simplifications in kin-selection explanations of social behaviour that use inclusive fitness. In addition, it covers analyses of social behaviours in which factors other than kinship influence the distribution of genes in interacting individuals, without invoking an open-ended expansion of the concept of ‘relatedness’. The treatment of social actions ends with a discussion of how far the concepts of relatedness, inclusive fitness and kin selection should be extended when factors other than kinship contribute to the distribution of genes to actors and recipients.

Keywords: collective fitness, inclusive fitness, kin selection, relatedness, social behaviour.

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