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The Quantative Theoretical Ecology of Life History Strategies

Aurelio José Figueredo, Heitor B.F. Fernandes and Michael A. Woodley


We review the foundational theoretical work of Hutchinson in defining an ecological niche as a given locus in the multidimensional hyperspace defining the ecological limits within which a species, group, or individual can live. Concepts such as competitive exclusion principle, niche-splitting, and character displacement are discussed in relation to evolutionary theories of the origin of individual differences in personality and life history strategy. We review this model of individuation in relation to the broader nomological network of strategic differentiation in which it is now recognized to be embedded. We then move on to generate predictions for social and economic structures from this model at the level of subnational regions, with the goal of providing a more comprehensive explanation for how differences in aggregate levels of human capital and cognitive ability may arise from these processes.

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