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How can a mutualism between two species arise? I have thinking about this for a while and I have come up with the following points 1.If mutualism gives one specie a competitive edge over its competitors then it could arise. Suppose you are being really pounded by your competitors and there is now way you can survive except if you give in to mutualism, even if it means "selling your soul". 2.The benefits received from the partner species outweighs the costs involved in helping it out.

I cannot think of any more examples. Please suggest a few; also point out if there are flaws in my reasoning.

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closed as too broad by Remi.b, AliceD, rg255, March Ho, Chris May 29 '16 at 14:43

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ What does "selling your soul" imply? $\endgroup$ – Alex May 29 '16 at 13:10
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I am afraid this question is too broad and I am voting to close. Evolution of inter-specific mutualism is a large subject. Here is not a complete answer but just a few comments on your two conditions

1.If mutualism gives one specie a competitive edge over its competitors then it could arise.

This is mainly wrong. Mutualism is likely to increase if mutualistic behaviour offer increases the fitness of the individual performing it, you would expect mutualistic behaviour to increase. You would not really expect the same by comparing species ability to survive in relation to their level of mutualism.

2.The benefits received from the partner species outweighs the costs involved in helping it out.

Again, you are talking about the benefit for a species. You should boil down your arguments to the individuals. It is true that mutualism can evolve only if the individual performing the mutualistic behaviour enjoy a higher fitness benefit than fitness cost (if any).

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