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Received 15 March 2004 Accepted 4 May 2004

Summary: Received 15 March 2004
Accepted 4 May 2004
Published online 6 August 2004
Evolutionary stability of mutualism: interspecific
population regulation as an evolutionarily stable
J. Nathaniel Holland1√
, Donald L. DeAngelis2
and Stewart T. Schultz3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, MS 170, 6100 South Main Street, Houston,
TX 77005-1892, USA (jholland@rice.edu)
US Geological Survey/Biological Resources Division, Department of Biology, and 3
Department of Biology, University
of Miami, PO Box 249118, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA (ddeangelis@umiami.ir.miami.edu; schultz@ fig.cox.miami.edu)
Interspecific mutualisms are often vulnerable to instability because low benefit : cost ratios can rapidly lead
to extinction or to the conversion of mutualism to parasite≠host or predator≠prey interactions. We hypothe-
size that the evolutionary stability of mutualism can depend on how benefits and costs to one mutualist vary
with the population density of its partner, and that stability can be maintained if a mutualist can influence


Source: Azevedo, Ricardo - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston
Holland, J. Nathaniel - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology