The resolution of conflict in families

P. T. Smiseth, N. J. Royle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The emergence of family groups is associated with conflict over the allocation of food or other limited resources. Understanding the mechanisms mediating the resolution of such conflict is a major aim in behavioral ecology. Most empirical work on familial conflict has focused on birds. Here, we highlight how recent work on insects provides new and exciting insights into how such conflict is resolved. This work shows that conflict resolution can be more complex than traditionally envisioned, often involving multiple mechanisms. For example, it shows that the resolution of sexual conflict involves a combination of behavioral negotiation, direct assessment of partner's state, and manipulation using anti-aphrodisiacs or prenatal maternal effects. Furthermore, it highlights that there is a shift from the traditional emphasis on conflict (and competition) to a greater emphasis on the balance between conflict on the one hand and cooperation on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Early online date16 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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