Annual Reviews Electronic Back Volume Collection 1932-2001ff
Although best known for cooperation, insect societies also manifest many potential conflicts among individuals. These conflicts involve both direct reproduction by individuals and manipulation of the reproduction of colony members. Here we review five major areas of reproductive conflict in insect societies: (a) sex allocation, (b) queen rearing, (c) male rearing, (d) queen-worker caste fate, and (e) breeding conflicts among totipotent adults. For each area we discuss the basis for conflict (potential conflict), whether conflict is expressed (actual conflict), whose interests prevail (conflict outcome), and the factors that reduce colony-level costs of conflict (conflict resolution), such as factors that cause workers to work rather than to lay eggs. Reproductive conflicts are widespread, sometimes having dramatic effects on the colony. However, three key factors (kinship, coercion, and constraint) typically combine to limit the effects of reproductive conflict and often lead to complete resolution.
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