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The evolution and maintenance of cooperation between unrelated individuals: integrating ultimate and proximate questions

English title The evolution and maintenance of cooperation between unrelated individuals: integrating ultimate and proximate questions
Applicant Bshary Redouan
Number 135707
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de Biologie Faculté des Sciences Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.05.2011 - 30.04.2014
Approved amount 600'000.00
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Keywords (6)

behavioural ecology; cooperation; mutualism; game theory; cognition; endocrinology

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
In recent years, new theoretical concepts and empirical research greatly increased our understanding concerning the evolution and persistence of cooperative behaviour between unrelated individuals. We now need to complement the evolutionary knowledge with research about the cognitive and the physiological mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviour, and fishes provide suitable study systems. The focus will be on marine cleaning mutualism, where more than 70 species of so called "cleaners" are known to remove ectoparasites but also mucus and scales from so called "clients". We already started to use the diversity of cleaner species for a comparative approach, where we first identify differences between species with respect to dependency on cleaning for their diet, foraging preferences (ectoparasites or mucus), or the probability of repeated interactions with the same clients. We then explore whether differences in these parameters are linked to potential differences in a) how clients reduce mucus feeding by cleaners, b) variation in the cleaners' social cognitive abilities, and c) the effects of endocrine substances on cooperative behaviour. The methods have already largely been developed in studies on the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus, using partly real clients and partly Plexiglas plates as surrogates. We determine the endocrine modulators of cooperative behaviour in L. dimidiatus, amenable for further testing in the comparative approach. In addition, we study the clients' physiological and immune responses in cleaning interactions. A major new topic will be to determine how variation in the complexity of the natural environment affects the cleaners' decision rules how to treat clients and their cognitive abilities. We have established that differences exist and now have to study their functionality, their ontogeny, and the ecological causes. Apart from cleaning mutualism we also investigate cooperative hunting in fishes. We compare the strategic and cognitive abilities of fish predators with the published evidence on mammalian predators using an experimental approach. The proposed studies are unique with their emphasis on the comparative approach and with the in-depth investigation of the mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviour in non-human animals. The empirical progress will strongly be enhanced through diverse collaborations with theoreticians, aimed at developing both specific game theoretic models and a more general framework on cooperation between unrelated individuals.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception
Soares Marta C., Cardoso Sonia C., Grutter Alexandra S., Oliveira Rui F., Bshary Redouan (2014), Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception, in HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR, 66(2), 346-350.
Fish choose appropriately when and with whom to collaborate
Vail Alexander L., Manica Andrea, Bshary Redouan (2014), Fish choose appropriately when and with whom to collaborate, in CURRENT BIOLOGY, 24(17), 791-793.
Fish cognition
Bshary Redouan, Brown Culum (2014), Fish cognition, in CURRENT BIOLOGY, 24(19), 947-950.
Geographical variation in the benefits obtained by a coral reef fish mimic
Cheney Karen L., Grutter Alexandra S., Bshary Redouan (2014), Geographical variation in the benefits obtained by a coral reef fish mimic, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 88, 85-90.
Intra- and interspecific challenges modulate cortisol but not androgen levels in a year-round territorial damselfish
Ros Albert F. H., Vullioud Philippe, Bruintjes Rick, Vallat Armelle, Bshary Redouan (2014), Intra- and interspecific challenges modulate cortisol but not androgen levels in a year-round territorial damselfish, in JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY, 217(10), 1768-1774.
Social cognition in fishes
Bshary Redouan, Gingins Simon, Vail Alexander L. (2014), Social cognition in fishes, in TRENDS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCES, 18(9), 465-471.
Variation in Cleaner Wrasse Cooperation and Cognition: Influence of the Developmental Environment?
Wismer Sharon, Pinto Ana I., Vail Alex L., Grutter Alexandra S., Bshary Redouan (2014), Variation in Cleaner Wrasse Cooperation and Cognition: Influence of the Developmental Environment?, in ETHOLOGY, 120(6), 519-531.
‘Fair’ outcomes without morality in cleaner wrasse mutualism
Bshary Redouan, Raihani Nichola J (2013), ‘Fair’ outcomes without morality in cleaner wrasse mutualism, Behavior and Brain Sciences, Cambridge University Press.
Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes
Pion Martin, Spangenberg Jorge E., Simon Anaele, Bindschedler Saskia, Flury Coralie, Chatelain Auriel, Bshary Redouan, Job Daniel, Junier Pilar (2013), Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 280(1773), 20132242.
Gains of Bacterial Flagellar Motility in a Fungal World
Pion Martin, Bshary Redouan, Bindschedler Saskia, Filippidou Sevasti, Wick Lukas Y., Job Daniel, Junier Pilar (2013), Gains of Bacterial Flagellar Motility in a Fungal World, in APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 79(22), 6862-6867.
Indo-Pacific parrotfish exert partner choice in interactions with cleanerfish but Caribbean parrotfish do not
Soares Marta C., Cardoso Sonia C., Nicolet Katia J., Cote Isabelle M., Bshary Redouan (2013), Indo-Pacific parrotfish exert partner choice in interactions with cleanerfish but Caribbean parrotfish do not, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 86(3), 611-615.
Intra- and interspecific aggression do not modulate androgen levels in dusky gregories, yet male aggression is reduced by an androgen blocker
Vullioud Philippe, Bshary Redouan, Ros Albert Frank Huascar (2013), Intra- and interspecific aggression do not modulate androgen levels in dusky gregories, yet male aggression is reduced by an androgen blocker, in HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR, 64(3), 430-438.
Power and temptation cause shifts between exploitation and cooperation in a cleaner wrasse mutualism
Gingins Simon, Werminghausen Johanna, Johnstone Rufus A., Grutter Alexandra S., Bshary Redouan (2013), Power and temptation cause shifts between exploitation and cooperation in a cleaner wrasse mutualism, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 280(1761), 20130553.
Ravens (Corvus corax) are indifferent to the gains of conspecific recipients or human partners in experimental tasks
Di Lascio Felice, Nyffeler Francois, Bshary Redouan, Bugnyar Thomas (2013), Ravens (Corvus corax) are indifferent to the gains of conspecific recipients or human partners in experimental tasks, in ANIMAL COGNITION, 16(1), 35-43.
Referential gestures in fish collaborative hunting
Vail Alexander L., Manica Andrea, Bshary Redouan (2013), Referential gestures in fish collaborative hunting, in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 4, 1765-1765.
Referential gestures in fish collaborative hunting
Vail Alexander L., Manica Andrea, Bshary Redouan (2013), Referential gestures in fish collaborative hunting, in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 4, 1765.
Third-Party Ranks Knowledge in Wild Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops pygerythrus)
Borgeaud Christele, van de Waal Erica, Bshary Redouan (2013), Third-Party Ranks Knowledge in Wild Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops pygerythrus), in PLOS ONE, 8(3), 58563.
A positive effect of flowers rather than eye images in a large-scale, cross-cultural dictator game.
Raihani Nichola J, Bshary Redouan (2012), A positive effect of flowers rather than eye images in a large-scale, cross-cultural dictator game., in Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 279(1742), 3556-64.
Adult Cleaner Wrasse Outperform Capuchin Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Orang-utans in a Complex Foraging Task Derived from Cleaner - Client Reef Fish Cooperation
Salwiczek Lucie H., Pretot Laurent, Demarta Lanila, Proctor Darby, Essler Jennifer, Pinto Ana I., Wismer Sharon, Stoinski Tara, Brosnan Sarah F., Bshary Redouan (2012), Adult Cleaner Wrasse Outperform Capuchin Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Orang-utans in a Complex Foraging Task Derived from Cleaner - Client Reef Fish Cooperation, in PLOS ONE, 7(11), 49068.
Are cleaner fish, Labroides dimidiatus, inequity averse?
Raihani N. J., McAuliffe K., Brosnan S. F., Bshary R. (2012), Are cleaner fish, Labroides dimidiatus, inequity averse?, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 84(3), 665-674.
Arginine vasotocin regulation of interspecific cooperative behaviour in a cleaner fish.
Soares Marta C, Bshary Redouan, Mendonça Rute, Grutter Alexandra S, Oliveira Rui F (2012), Arginine vasotocin regulation of interspecific cooperative behaviour in a cleaner fish., in PloS one, 7(7), 39583-39583.
Face Your Fears: Cleaning Gobies Inspect Predators despite Being Stressed by Them
Soares MC, Bshary R, Cardoso SC, Cote IM, Oliveira RF (2012), Face Your Fears: Cleaning Gobies Inspect Predators despite Being Stressed by Them, in PLOS ONE, 7(6), electronic-electronic.
Face Your Fears: Cleaning Gobies Inspect Predators despite Being Stressed by Them
Soares MC, Bshary R, Cardoso SC, Cote IM, Oliveira RF (2012), Face Your Fears: Cleaning Gobies Inspect Predators despite Being Stressed by Them, in PLOS ONE, 7(6), electronic-electronic.
Female cleaner fish cooperate more with unfamiliar males
Raihani NJ, Grutter AS, Bshary R (2012), Female cleaner fish cooperate more with unfamiliar males, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 279(1737), 2479-2486.
Female cleaner fish cooperate more with unfamiliar males
Raihani NJ, Grutter AS, Bshary R (2012), Female cleaner fish cooperate more with unfamiliar males, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 279(1737), 2479-2486.
Individual Differences in Foraging Strategies of Parasitic Sabre-Tooth Blennies
Bshary Andrea, Bshary Redouan (2012), Individual Differences in Foraging Strategies of Parasitic Sabre-Tooth Blennies, in PLOS ONE, 7(9), 45998.
Innate Adjustment of Visitation Behavior to Rewarding and Reward-Minimized Petunia axillaris (Solanacea) Plants by Hawkmoth Manduca sexta (Sphingidae)
Brandenburg A, Kuhlemeier C, Bshary R (2012), Innate Adjustment of Visitation Behavior to Rewarding and Reward-Minimized Petunia axillaris (Solanacea) Plants by Hawkmoth Manduca sexta (Sphingidae), in ETHOLOGY, 118(7), 654-661.
Innate Adjustment of Visitation Behavior to Rewarding and Reward-Minimized Petunia axillaris (Solanacea) Plants by Hawkmoth Manduca sexta (Sphingidae)
Brandenburg A, Kuhlemeier C, Bshary R (2012), Innate Adjustment of Visitation Behavior to Rewarding and Reward-Minimized Petunia axillaris (Solanacea) Plants by Hawkmoth Manduca sexta (Sphingidae), in ETHOLOGY, 118(7), 654-661.
Male cleaner wrasses adjust punishment of female partners according to the stakes
Raihani NJ, Pinto AI, Grutter AS, Wismer S, Bshary R (2012), Male cleaner wrasses adjust punishment of female partners according to the stakes, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 279(1727), 365-370.
Punishment and cooperation in nature
Raihani NJ, Thornton A, Bshary R (2012), Punishment and cooperation in nature, in TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 27(5), 288-295.
Relationship between roving behaviour and the diet and client composition of the cleaner fish Labroides bicolor
Oates J, Manica A, Bshary R, Grutter AS (2012), Relationship between roving behaviour and the diet and client composition of the cleaner fish Labroides bicolor, in JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, 81(1), 210-219.
Similarity in Food Cleaning Techniques within Matrilines in Wild Vervet Monkeys
van de Waal E, Krutzen M, Hula J, Goudet J, Bshary R (2012), Similarity in Food Cleaning Techniques within Matrilines in Wild Vervet Monkeys, in PLOS ONE, 7(4), electronic-electronic.
Spatial Group Structure as Potential Mechanism to Maintain Cooperation in Fish Shoals of Unrelated Individuals
Cisarovsky Gabriel, Bshary Andrea, Bouzelboudjen Mahmoud, Bshary Redouan (2012), Spatial Group Structure as Potential Mechanism to Maintain Cooperation in Fish Shoals of Unrelated Individuals, in ETHOLOGY, 118(9), 850-857.
Treatment with the glucocorticoid antagonist RU486 reduces cooperative cleaning visits of a common reef fish, the lined bristletooth
Ros AFH, Vullioud P, Bshary R (2012), Treatment with the glucocorticoid antagonist RU486 reduces cooperative cleaning visits of a common reef fish, the lined bristletooth, in HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR, 61(1), 37-43.
Hawkmoth Pollinators Decrease Seed Set of a Low-Nectar Petunia axillaris Line through Reduced Probing Time.
Brandenburg Anna, Kuhlemeier Cris, Bshary Redouan, Hawkmoth Pollinators Decrease Seed Set of a Low-Nectar Petunia axillaris Line through Reduced Probing Time., in Current biology : CB.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ISPA Portugal (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University College london Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ISBE Talk given at a conference Why cleaners can enter the mouth of predators 12.08.2012 Lund, Sweden Bshary Redouan;
ISBE Talk given at a conference Groupers choose when and with whom to collaborate 12.08.2012 Lund, Sweden Bshary Redouan;
International Ethological Conference, Bloomington , USA Talk given at a conference Ontogenetic effects on cooperative behaviour in marine cleaning mutualism 25.07.2011 Bloomington USA, United States of America McAfoose Sharon; Pinto Ana; Bshary Redouan;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133040 the evolution of social behaviour in vervet monkeys: an experimental approach 01.01.2011 Sinergia
137165 Partner control mechanisms in pair-wise cooperative interactions: empirically-informed models 01.01.2013 ProDoc
153067 How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution and maintenance of cooperation 01.05.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
120552 The evolution and maintenance of cooperation between unrelated individuals: integrating ultimate and proximate questions 01.05.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In recent years, new theoretical concepts and empirical research led to an appreciation of the diversity of partner control mechanisms (like direct or indirect reciprocity, punishment, sanctions, or partner switching) that can explain the evolution and persistence of cooperative behaviour between unrelated individuals. We now need to complement the evolutionary research with more proximate questions about the cognitive and the physiological mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviour. I intend to link mechanisms and function using fishes as model systems. In fish cleaning mutualisms, more than 70 species of so called “cleaners” remove ectoparasites but also mucus and scales from so called “clients”. We started to use the diversity of cleaner species for a comparative approach, where we first identify differences between species with respect to dependency on cleaning for their diet, foraging preferences (ectoparasites or mucus), or the probability of repeated interactions with the same clients. We then explore whether differences in these parameters are linked to potential differences in a) control mechanisms employed by clients to reduce mucus feeding by cleaners, b) variation in the cleaners’ social cognitive abilities, and c) the effects of endocrine substances on cooperative behaviour. The necessary methods have already largely been developed in studies on the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus. We will continue to use this species for any question that is addressed on cleaning mutualism for the first time, amenable for further testing in the comparative approach. A major new topic will be to determine how variation in the complexity of the natural environment affects the cleaners’ decision rules how to treat clients and their cognitive abilities. We have established that differences exist and now have to study their functionality, their ontogeny, the ecological causes, and finally patterns of gene expression that may cause the differences. A second line of research investigates cooperative hunting in fishes. We will compare the strategic and cognitive abilities of fish predators with the published evidence on mammalian predators. Our main advantage will be that we can conduct experiments to test for the effect of group size on hunting success and to test whether the fish can assess whether or not they need partners to succeed. The proposed studies are unique with their emphasis on the comparative approach and with the in-depth investigation of the mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviour in non-human animals. The empirical progress will strongly be enhanced through diverse collaborations with theoreticians, aimed at developing both specific game theoretic models and a more general framework on cooperation between unrelated individuals.
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