When is a mutualist a cheater? A synthesis of conceptual and data-based perspectives on the causes and consequences of variation in mutualist quality

Principal Investigators:

Emily I. Jones, and Maren L. Friesen

Cheating is a fundamental – yet fuzzy – concept in the study of mutualism. If it is defined at all, cheating is variously defined as obtaining rewards from a partner while reciprocating nothing, reciprocating less than other mutualists, or reciprocating less than is “fair”. In all cases, cheating is considered a threat to the ecological and evolutionary stability of mutualisms; however, the ambiguity of what is actually meant by “cheating” stands in the way of understanding how common and how severe cheating is across mutualisms. The... more

Participants and Meetings

Working Group Participants
ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group10th—15th December 2012Participant List  

Participant Contact Information

Michelle Afkhamimichelle.afkhami [at] gmail.comUniversity of California, Davis
Erol Akçayeakcay [at] princeton.eduPrinceton University
Judith L. Bronsteinjudieb [at] email.arizona.eduUniversity of Arizona
Redouan Bsharyredouan.bshary [at] unine.chUniversité de Neuchâtel
Kevin Fosterkevin.foster [at] zoo.ox.ac.ukUniversity of Oxford
Megan Fredericksonm.frederickson [at] utoronto.caUniversity of Toronto
Maren L. Friesenmaren.l.friesen [at] gmail.comUniversity of Southern California
Katy Heathkheath [at] life.illinois.eduUniversity of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Jason D. Hoeksemajason.hoeksema [at] gmail.comUniversity of Mississippi
Emily I. Joneseijones [at] wsu.eduWashington State University
Josh Nessjness [at] skidmore.eduSkidmore College
Sabrina Pankeympankey [at] lifesci.ucsb.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Stephanie S. Porterstephanie.simone.porter [at] gmail.comUniversity of California, Berkeley
Joel L Sachsjoels [at] ucr.eduUniversity of California, Riverside
Klara Scharnaglkscha005 [at] fiu.eduFlorida International University
John J. Stachowiczjjstachowicz [at] ucdavis.eduUniversity of California, Davis
Dylan WeeseDylan_Weese [at] umit.maine.eduSt. Ambrose University
Jimmy E Woodwardjwoodward12 [at] gmail.comMichigan State University

Products: Publications, Reports, Datasets, Presentations, Visualizations

TypeProduct of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Jones, Emily I.; Afkhami, Michelle; Akçay, Erol; Bronstein, Judith L.; Bshary, Redouan; Frederickson, Megan; Heath, Katy; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Ness, Josh; Pankey, Sabrina; Porter, Stephanie S.; Sachs, Joel L; Scharnagl, Klara; Friesen, Maren L. 2015. Cheaters must prosper: Reconciling theoretical and empirical perspectives on cheating in mutualism. Ecology Letters. Vol: 18(11). Pages 1270-1284. (Abstract) (Online version)
"When is a mutualist a cheater? A synthesis of conceptual and data-based perspectives on the causes and consequences of variation in mutualist quality" is project ID: 12662