Faculté des sciences

On the further integration of cooperative breeding and cooperation theory

Bergmüller, Ralph ; Russell, Andrew F. ; Johnstone, Rufus A. ; Bshary, Redouan

In: Behavioural Processes, 2007, vol. 76, no. 2, p. 170-181

We present a synopsis about the commentaries to the target article “Integrating cooperative breeding into theoretical concepts of cooperation”, in which we attempted to integrate general mechanisms to explain cooperative behaviour among unrelated individuals with classic concepts to explain helping behaviour in cooperative breeders that do not invoke kin-based benefits. Here we (1) summarize... Plus

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    Summary
    We present a synopsis about the commentaries to the target article “Integrating cooperative breeding into theoretical concepts of cooperation”, in which we attempted to integrate general mechanisms to explain cooperative behaviour among unrelated individuals with classic concepts to explain helping behaviour in cooperative breeders that do not invoke kin-based benefits. Here we (1) summarize the positions of the commentators concerning the main issues we raised in the target article and discuss important criticisms and extensions. (2) We relate our target article to some recent reviews on the evolution of cooperation and, (3) clarify how we use terminology with regard to cooperation and cooperative behaviour. (4) We discuss several aspects that were raised with respect to cooperative interactions including by-product mutualism, generalised reciprocity and multi-level selection and, (5) examine the alternatives to our classification scheme as proposed by some commentaries. (6) Finally, we highlight several aspects that might hinder the application of game theoretical mechanisms of cooperation in cooperatively breeding systems. Although there is broad agreement that cooperative breeding theory should be integrated within the more general concepts of cooperation, there is some debate about how this may be achieved. We conclude that the contributions in this special issue provide a fruitful first step and ample suggestions for future directions with regard to a more unified framework of cooperation in cooperative breeders.