Are Mutualisms Maintained by Host Sanctions or Partner Fidelity Feedback?

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Are Mutualisms Maintained by Host Sanctions or Partner Fidelity Feedback?

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dc.contributor.author Weyl, Eric Glen
dc.contributor.author Frederickson, Megan E.
dc.contributor.author Yu, Douglas W.
dc.contributor.author Pierce, Naomi Ellen
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-15T20:54:00Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Weyl, E. Glen, Megan E. Frederickson, Douglas W. Yu, and Naomi E. Pierce. Forthcoming. Are mutualisms maintained by host sanctions or partner fidelity feedback? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0027-8424 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4726200
dc.description.abstract Although mutualisms are common in all ecological communities and have played key roles in the diversification of life, our current understanding of the evolution of cooperation applies mostly to social behavior within a species. A central question is whether mutualisms persist because hosts have evolved costly punishment of cheaters. Here, we use the economic theory of employment contracts to formulate and distinguish between two mechanisms that have been proposed to prevent cheating in host-symbiont mutualisms, Partner Fidelity Feedback (PFF) and Host Sanctions (HS). Under PFF, positive feedback between host fitness and symbiont fitness is sufficient to prevent cheating; in contrast, HS posits the necessity of costly punishment to maintain mutualism. A coevolutionary model of mutualism finds that HS are unlikely to evolve de novo, and published data on legume-rhizobia and yucca-moth mutualisms are consistent with PFF and not HS. Thus, in systems considered to be textbook cases of HS, we find poor support for the theory that hosts have evolved to punish cheating symbionts; instead, we show that even horizontally transmitted mutualisms can be stabilized via PFF. PFF theory may place previously underappreciated constraints on the evolution of mutualism, and explain why punishment is far from ubiquitous in nature. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Economics en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Organismic and Evolutionary Biology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher National Academy of Sciences en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://www.pnas.org/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject contract theory en_US
dc.subject mutualism en_US
dc.subject symbiosis en_US
dc.subject evolution of cooperation en_US
dc.subject punishment en_US
dc.title Are Mutualisms Maintained by Host Sanctions or Partner Fidelity Feedback? en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Accepted Manuscript en_US
dc.relation.journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America en_US
dash.depositing.author Pierce, Naomi Ellen
dash.waiver 2010-07-29
dc.date.available 2011-02-15T20:54:00Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7495]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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