GROUP FORMATION AND THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIALITY
Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 67, Issue 1, pages 131–141, January 2013
How to Cite
Garcia, T. and De Monte, S. (2013), GROUP FORMATION AND THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIALITY. Evolution, 67: 131–141. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01739.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 JUL 2012 09:00AM EST
- Received August 24, 2011 Accepted June 22, 2012
- Assortative mechanisms;
- evolution of altruism;
- group size;
- public goods games;
- social dilemma
In spite of its intrinsic evolutionary instability, altruistic behavior in social groups is widespread in nature, spanning from organisms endowed with complex cognitive abilities to microbial populations. In this study, we show that if social individuals have an enhanced tendency to form groups and fitness increases with group cohesion, sociality can evolve and be maintained in the absence of actively assortative mechanisms such as kin recognition or nepotism toward other carriers of the social gene. When explicitly taken into account in a game-theoretical framework, the process of group formation qualitatively changes the evolutionary dynamics with respect to games played in groups of constant size and equal grouping tendencies. The evolutionary consequences of the rules underpinning the group size distribution are discussed for a simple model of microbial aggregation by differential attachment, indicating a way to the evolution of sociality bereft of peer recognition.