Home Science Natural selection favors cheaters

Natural selection favors cheaters

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Natural selection predicts that mutualisms — interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties — should fall apart. Individuals that gain from the cooperation of others but do not reciprocate (so-called cheaters) should arise and destabilize mutualisms. Yet to date, surprisingly little evidence of such cheating or destabilization exists. A team of biologists has now found strong evidence of this cheating.