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Multilevel Selection in Kin Selection Language
- Lehtonen, Jussi
- Trends in ecology & evolution 2016 v.31 no.10 pp. 752-762
- biologists, evolutionarily stable strategy, kin selection, models
- Few issues have raised more debate among evolutionary biologists than kin selection (KS) versus multilevel selection (MLS). They are formally equivalent, but use different-looking mathematical approaches, and are not causally equivalent: for a given problem KS can be a more suitable causal explanation than MLS, and vice versa. Methods for analyzing a given model from both viewpoints would therefore be valuable. I argue that there is often an easy way to achieve this: MLS can be written using the components of KS. This applies to the very general regression approach as well as to the practical evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) maximization approach, and can hence be used to analyze many common ESS models from a multilevel perspective. I demonstrate this with example models of gamete competition and limitation.