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The Theory of EvolutionPrinciples, Concepts, and Assumptions$
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Samuel M. Scheiner and David P. Mindell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226671024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226671338.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Theory of Multilevel Selection

The Theory of Multilevel Selection

(p.194) Ten The Theory of Multilevel Selection
The Theory of Evolution

Charles Goodnight

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the modeling of multilevel selection (MLS) – and the related concepts of group selection and kin selection – using variance partitioning methods, using the Price equation to elucidate basic issues within MLS theory. An expansion of this theory, based on contextual analysis and direct fitness, is used to show that kin selection and MLS selection have the same mathematical roots, although they are not identical. Kin selection theory is oriented towards identifying the optimal group and individual level traits that maximize the fitness of an organism, while MLS theory is oriented towards identifying the rate of evolution of the group and individual level traits in a specified situation. Because of these differences, kin selection and group selection can be considered as complementary approaches. The chapter also addresses why heritable variation at one level often bears little relation to heritable variation at other levels. It is shown that interactions among units (e.g., individuals) cannot contribute to a response to selection at that level, but can contribute to response to selection at a higher level (e.g., the population). Thus, the response to selection at one level can be qualitatively different than the response to selection at other levels.

Keywords:   multilevel selection, Price equation, contextual analysis, indirect genetic effects, genetic interaction, population structure, group selection, kin selection

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