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Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness TheoryAn Introduction$
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James A.R. Marshall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161563

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161563.001.0001

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What Is Fitness?

What Is Fitness?

(p.105) Chapter Nine What Is Fitness?
Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness Theory

James A.R. Marshall

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the problem of correctly defining fitness costs and benefits in inclusive fitness theory, when competition occurs between offspring who are relatives. It reviews the definition of evolutionary fitness and shows how its misinterpretation explains many previous misunderstandings as to whether inclusive fitness theory always makes accurate predictions. The chapter begins with a discussion of Haldane's dilemma, which can be formalized with fitness equations that show that the risk of death can make fitness effects all-or-nothing. It then examines how inclusive fitness models can be constructed to deal with reproductive value and class-structured populations. It also shows how costs and benefits can be expressed as payoffs that are proportional to reproductive success, as changes in production of offspring, or as changes in evolutionary fitness. Finally, it presents examples that illustrate when fitness, payoffs, and fecundity are different, and how inclusive fitness analyses can be performed properly in such situations.

Keywords:   fitness costs, inclusive fitness theory, competition, evolutionary fitness, Haldane's dilemma, reproductive value, fitness benefits, payoffs, fecundity, reproductive success

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