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Cooperation facilitates the colonization of harsh environments [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : behavioural ecology, ecosystem ecology, phylogenetics, social evolution

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Animals living in harsh environments, where temperatures are hot and rainfall is unpredictable, are more likely to breed in cooperative groups. As a result, harsh environmental conditions have been accepted as a key factor explaining the evolution of cooperation. However, this is based on evidence that has not investigated the order of evolutionary events, so the inferred causality could be incorrect. We resolved this problem using phylogenetic analyses of 4,707 bird species and found that causation was in the opposite direction to that previously assumed. (...)

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