Skew Selection: Nature Favors a Trickle-Down Distribution of Resources in Ants
Synopsis: According to skew selection, ant queens are neither ruthlessly selfish nor blindly altruistic; they are shrewd investors. The goal of shrewd investors is not to win the game, but to continue play over evolutionary time. Skew selection describes a set of investment strategies employed by players such as ant queens to keep the game going. First, ant queens acquire excess resources—more than they need for immediate survival and reproduction. Second, queens invest a portion of their excess resources in personal capital to maintain dominant status. Third, queens also invest a portion of excess resources in low-quality offspring to gain group capital. Fourth, when investing in group capital, resources are distributed in a trickle-down fashion to maintain the largest number of diminishing-quality offspring possible. The trickle-down redistribution allows the shrewd queen to increase group size (safety in numbers) and, at the same time, maintain individual status (safety in position). According to skew selection, queens invest in low-quality offspring (sterile workers) to buffer hereself and her high-quality offspring from agents of death such as war, predation or disease. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ted Bergstrom, .
"Primogeniture, Monogamy, and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society,"
_031, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
- Theodore C. Bergstrom, . "Primogeniture, Monogamy and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society," ELSE working papers 044, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
- Ted Bergstrom, 1994. "Primogeniture, Monogamy and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society," Meeting papers 9410001, EconWPA, revised 10 Oct 1994.
- Ted Bergstrom, . "Primogeniture, Monogamy, and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society," Papers _025, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
- Elias Khalil, 2000. "Survival of the Most Foolish of Fools: The Limits of Evolutionary Selection Theory," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 203-220, October.
- E. F. Shawyer, 1998. "Editorial," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 105-105, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:83-96. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.