Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 70-73

First online:

Genetic relatedness in viscous populations

  • David C. QuellerAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University

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Hamilton's inclusive fitness rule shows that the evolution of altruism is facilitated by high genetic relatedness of altruists to their beneficiaries. But the evolution of altruism is inhibited when the beneficiaries are also close competitors of the altruist, as will often be true in structured or viscous populations. However, Hamilton's rule still gives the correct condition for the evolution of altruism if relatedness is measured with respect to the local competitive neighbourhood.


relatedness altruism viscous population kin selection Hamilton's rule