Restricting mutualistic partners to enforce trade reliance
MetadataShow full item record
Mutualisms are cooperative interactions between members of different species, often involving the trade of resources. Here, we suggest that otherwise- cooperative mutualists might be able to gain a benefit from actively restricting their partners’ ability to obtain resources directly, hampering the ability of the restricted partner to survive and/or reproduce without the help of the restricting mutualist. We show that: (i) restriction can be favoured when restricting individuals increase their comparative advantage and thus receive more favourable terms of trade; (ii) restriction maintains cooperation in conditions where cooperative behaviour would otherwise collapse; and (iii) restriction can lead to either an increase or decrease in a restricted individual’s fitness. We discuss the applicability of this scenario to mutualisms such as those between plants and mycorrhizal fungi. These results identify a novel conflict in mutualisms as well as several public goods dilemmas, but also demonstrate how conflict can help maintain cooperation.
Wyatt , G , Kiers , E , Gardner , A & West , S 2016 , ' Restricting mutualistic partners to enforce trade reliance ' Nature Communications , vol. 7 , 10322 . DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10322
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.