Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 29–42

On the Relative Importance of Haplo-Diploidy, Assortative Mating and Social Synergy on the Evolutionary Emergence of Social Behavior

  • Klaus Jaffe

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010229506863

Cite this article as:
Jaffe, K. Acta Biotheor (2001) 49: 29. doi:10.1023/A:1010229506863


Advances in multiagent simulation techniques make it possible to study more realistic dynamics of complex systems and allow evolutionary theories to be tested. Here I use simulations to assess the relative importance of reproductive systems (haplodiploidy vs. diploidy), mate selection (assortative mating vs. random mating) and social economics (pay-off matrices of evolutionary games) in the evolutionary dynamics leading to the emergence of social cooperation in the provision of parental care. The simulations confirm that haplo-diploid organisms and organisms mating assortatively have a higher probability for fixing alleles and require less favorable conditions for their fixation, than diploids or organisms mating randomly. The simulations showed that social behavior was most likely to emerge a) when the cost for parental investment was much lower than the benefits to the offspring, b) when cooperation improved synergistically the fitness of offspring compared to the corresponding egoistic behavior and c) when alleles coding for altruistic or social behavior could be rapidly fixed in the population, thanks to mechanisms such as haplo-diploidy and/or assortative mating. Cooperative social behavior always appeared if sociality conferred much higher fitness gains compared to non cooperative alternatives suggesting that the most important factors for the emergence and maintenance of social behavior are those based on energetic or efficiency considerations. The simulations, in congruence with the scant experimental evidence available, suggest that economic considerations rather than genetic ones are critical in explaining the emergence and maintenance of sociality.

evolutionhaplo-diploidysexstrategypolyploidyassortative matingsocialityeconomy

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Jaffe
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología de OrganismosUniversidad Simón BolívarCaracasVenezuela