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Programmed for gambling: Polistes wasps wager current fitness for the possibility of increased future fitness

Sridhar, V. H. and Quiñones, A. E. and Pen, I. R. (2015) Programmed for gambling: Polistes wasps wager current fitness for the possibility of increased future fitness. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

Cooperation by animals with non-relatives poses a challenge to kin selection theory unless direct fitness benefits are somehow obtained from the cooperative act. Several species of the Polistinae subfamily of wasps have helpers that are completely unrelated to the domi- nant female in the nest. Empirical studies indicate that these associations could be a result of nest inheritance by the subordinates, a very probable scenario in the species [28]. Fur- ther evidence suggests that subordinates in these cofoundress associations produce more direct offspring than lone foundresses mostly post nest inheritance, but sometimes even as subordinates [20] This model examines the role of direct fitness in the evolution of such semisocial sys- tems. Benefits of association are classified as survival and reproductive benefits and the effect of each on subordination is examined independent of the other. Results suggest that relatedness between the dominant and the subordinate in a nest is not necessary for such complex social systems to evolve. We also find evidence for increasing complexity in such systems in the form of helping tendency in brood 1 workers (eusociality) facilitating co- foundress associations (semisociality).

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:06
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:06
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/13127

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