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Data from: A structured population model suggests that long life and post-reproductive lifespan promote the evolution of cooperation

Citation

Ross, Caitlin; Rychtář, Jan; Rueppell, Olav (2016), Data from: A structured population model suggests that long life and post-reproductive lifespan promote the evolution of cooperation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hh63d

Abstract

Social organization correlates with longevity across animal taxa. This correlation has been explained by selection for longevity by social evolution. The reverse causality is also conceivable but has not been sufficiently considered. We constructed a simple, spatially structured population model of asexually reproducing individuals to study the effect of temporal life history structuring on the evolution of cooperation. Individuals employed fixed strategies of cooperation or defection towards all neighbours in a basic Prisoner׳s Dilemma paradigm. Individuals aged and transitioned through different life history stages asynchronously without migration. An individual׳s death triggered a reproductive event by one immediate neighbour. The specific neighbour was chosen probabilistically according to the cumulative payoff from all local interactions. Varying the duration of pre-reproductive, reproductive, and post-reproductive life history stages, long-term simulations allowed a systematic evaluation of the influence of the duration of these specific life history stages. Our results revealed complex interactions among the effects of the three basic life history stages and the benefit to defect. Overall, a long post-reproductive stage promoted the evolution of cooperation, while a prolonged pre-reproductive stage has a negative effect. In general, the total length of life also increased the probability of the evolution of cooperation. Thus, our specific model suggests that the timing of life history transitions and total duration of life history stages may affect the evolution of cooperative behaviour. We conclude that the causation of the empirically observed association of life expectancy and sociality may be more complex than previously realized.

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