Intraspecific Adaptation Load: A Mechanism for Species Coexistence

Masato Yamamichi, Daisuke Kyogoku, Ryosuke Iritani, Kazuya Kobayashi, Yuma Takahashi, Kaori Tsurui-Sato, Akira Yamawo, Shigeto Dobata, Kazuki Tsuji, Michio Kondoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Evolutionary ecological theory suggests that selection arising from interactions with conspecifics, such as sexual and kin selection, may result in evolution of intraspecific conflicts and evolutionary ‘tragedy of the commons’. Here, we propose that such an evolution of conspecific conflicts may affect population dynamics in a way that enhances species coexistence. Empirical evidence and theoretical models suggest that more abundant species is more susceptible to invasion of ‘selfish’ individuals that increase their own reproductive success at the expense of population growth (intraspecific adaptation load). The density-dependent intraspecific adaptation load gives rise to a self-regulation mechanism at the population level, and stabilizes species coexistence at the community level by negative frequency-dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-907
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • density-dependent selection
  • eco-evolutionary feedback
  • game theory
  • sexual conflict
  • sexual selection
  • tragedy of the commons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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