Ecological Facilitation May Drive Major Evolutionary Transitions

Kikvidze, Zaal and Callaway, Ray (2009) Ecological Facilitation May Drive Major Evolutionary Transitions. BioScience, 59. pp. 399-404. ISSN 1525-3244

This is the latest version of this item.

Kikvidze & Callaway 2009 Bioscience.pdf

Download (194kB) | Preview


There is a growing consensus among ecologists that ecological facilitation comprises a historically overlooked but crucial suite of biotic interactions. Awareness of such positive interactions has recently led to substantial modifications in ecological theory. In this article we suggest how facilitation may be included in evolutionary theory. Natural selection based on competition provides a conceptually complete paradigm for speciation, but not for major evolutionary transitions—the emergence of new and more complex biological structures such as cells, organisms, and eusocial populations. We find that the successful theories developed to solve these specific problematic transitions show a consistent pattern: they focus on positive interactions. We argue that facilitation between individuals at different levels of biological organization can act as a cohesive force that generates a new level of organization with higher complexity and thus allows for major evolutionary transitions at all levels of biological hierarchy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Evolution
Q Science > Ecology
Divisions: Institutes > 4D Research Institute
Depositing User: Prof. Zaal Kikvidze
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 06:13
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2015 06:13

Available Versions of this Item

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item