Are there any examples of behaviors that are labeled as "non-adaptive?" If so, what are possible causes of this kind of behavior?
As I was looking for sources for my research paper, I came across the term "Adaptationism" and its relation to behavioral ecology. Adaptationism basically states that most traits that an organism has are optimal adaptations. I would like to know more about Adaptationism and its connection to behavioral ecology.
Behaviours can be considered adaptive under certain conditions (as defined by evolutionary principles), but can be considered "non-adaptive" if the conditions under which they evolved change. For example consider an invasive species that is relocated to a new area and encounters new conditions, or adds a resource to the environment. There are even cases of what has been termed "an evolutionary trap" where f.e. native predator invests resources or reproductive effort into a prey/host resource that is actually unsuitable for consumption/parasitization. There is a good paper on egg parasitoids that deals with this if you are interested (Abram et al. 2013 Biol. Invasions DOI 10.1007/s10530-013-0576-y).
Causes of a "non adaptive behavior" can be related to a change in the environment that it is not tracked by a change in behavior. A classical example is the hedgehog's antipredatory strategy of rolling into a ball but it seems not very useful if you need to cross the road.
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When a group of individuals creates something, credit is usually divided among them. Oddly, that does not apply to scientific papers. The most commonly used performance measure for individual researchers is the h-index, which does not correct for multiple authors. Each author claims full credit for each paper and each ensuing citation. This mismeasure of achievement is fuelling a flagrant increase in multi-authorship. Several alternatives to the h-index have been devised, and one of them, the individual h-index (hI), is logical, intuitive and easily calculated. Correcting for multi-authorship would end gratuitous authorship and allow proper attribution and unbiased comparisons.
"faculty of corruption" that makes the strength of the h index
It is now well established that the measure of the "value of a researcher's scientific output" is best described by the Hirsch index (h) though this index is often criticized (rightly) for its lack of discernment between authors. Things seem clear and obvious, but nothing changes. The multiple criticisms on the Hirsch index (h) repeat the same thing, this index is unfair and the reasons are well known. But everyone pretends not to see anything. The main reason for this is that all or most of the researchers as co-authors have (some or many) publications with "minimal contributions or no contributions at all", which the h-index converts to "honorable credits" (publications, citations ) have no other choice that to apply the "publish or perish" rule. It is this “faculty of corruption” that makes the strength of the h index.
The vagueness typical of many traditional biological concepts continues to be a matter of concern to biologists and philosophers. Even though the results are not always generally accepted, efforts to explicate and clarify such fundamental concepts as organism, species, structure, and function have all contributed to the development of a more critic...