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Evolution. 2000 Aug;54(4):1135-41.

Overlapping generations can promote altruistic behavior.

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  • 1Department of Mathematics and Statistic, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. taylorp@post.queensu.ca


We use an inclusive fitness model to study the evolution of altruism in a patch-structured population in which there is positive probability of breeder survival from one generation to the next. We find first that breeder survival promotes altruism and second that there is a marked difference between benefits of fecundity and benefits of survival. Under the first altruism is more strongly favored, and under the second altruism is less strongly favored than in a randomly mixing population.

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