David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):967-987 (2005)
The fitness of any evolutionary unit can be understood in terms of its two basic components: fecundity (reproduction) and viability (survival). Trade-offs between these fitness components drive the evolution of life-history traits in extant multicellular organisms. We argue that these trade-offs gain special significance during the transition from unicellular to multicellular life. In particular, the evolution of germ–soma specialization and the emergence of individuality at the cell group (or organism) level are also consequences of trade-offs between the two basic fitness components, or so we argue using a multilevel selection approach. During the origin of multicellularity, we study how the group trade-offs between viability and fecundity are initially determined by the cell level trade-offs, but as the transition proceeds, the fitness trade-offs at the group level depart from those at the cell level. We predict that these trade-offs begin with concave curvature in single-celled organisms but become increasingly convex as group size increases in multicellular organisms. We argue that the increasingly convex curvature of the trade-off function is driven by the cost of reproduction which increases as group size increases. We consider aspects of the biology of the volvocine green algae – which contain both unicellular and multicellular members – to illustrate the principles and conclusions discussed
|Keywords||Body size Cost of reproduction Evolutionary transitions Fitness Germ–soma specialization Individuality Life-history evolution Multi-level selection Multicellularity Volvox|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Birch (2012). Social Revolution. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581.
Argyris Arnellos, Alvaro Moreno & Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo (forthcoming). Organizational Requirements for Multicellular Autonomy: Insights From a Comparative Case Study. Biology and Philosophy:1-34.
Walter Bossert, Chloe X. Qi & John A. Weymark (2013). Extensive Social Choice and the Measurement of Group Fitness in Biological Hierarchies. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):75-98.
Maureen A. O'Malley, Alastair G. B. Simpson & Andrew J. Roger (2013). The Other Eukaryotes in Light of Evolutionary Protistology. Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):299-330.
Similar books and articles
William Bechtel (2010). The Cell: Locus or Object of Inquiry? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):172-182.
Nicholas Shea, Ido Pen & Tobias Uller (2011). Three Epigenetic Information Channels and Their Different Roles in Evolution. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:1178-87.
William C. Summers (1991). From Culture as Organism to Organism as Cell: Historical Origins of Bacterial Genetics. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 24 (2):171 - 190.
Deng K. Niu, Jia-Kuan Chen & Yong-Ding Liu (2001). Margulis' Theory on Division of Labour in Cells Revisited. Acta Biotheoretica 49 (1).
Fred Cummins (2009). Phenomenal Worlds and Nervous System Activity. In Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.
Robert C. Richardson & Richard M. Burian (1992). A Defense of Propensity Interpretations of Fitness. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:349 - 362.
Marshall Abrams (2009). Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.
Marshall Abrams (2007). Fitness and Propensity's Annulment? Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
Jack A. Wilson (2000). Ontological Butchery: Organism Concepts and Biological Generalizations. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):311.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads9 ( #156,823 of 1,100,758 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #176,465 of 1,100,758 )
How can I increase my downloads?