Asked 25th May, 2014

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.

All Answers (3)

28th May, 2014
Joanna Katarzyna Konopka
Johns Hopkins University
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).
1 Recommendation
27th Aug, 2014
Andrea Gazzola
University of Pavia
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.

Similar questions and discussions

What is your opinion about citation practice?
12 replies
  • Gyorgy BanhegyiGyorgy Banhegyi
Dear Colleagues,
There are several signs of distortion in the scientific publication practice. Simultaneously with the commercialization of scientific activity (resulting in predatory and semi-predatory journals and the boom of conferences which lead to nowhere) and with the pressure to publish (without any pressure to read and understand other's work) the citation practice also becomes distorted. This is further aggravated by a scientific evaluation system based on citations, which pushes journal editors to select papers not on their scientific merit but on their expected impact (I have heard that there are even software applications which help estimating the expected impact). All these "developments" lead to the emergence of "citation circles", self-citations, meaningless reviews and several other phenomena increasing the publication "noise" and reducing the value of publications. A part of the problem is that several citations are not to the point. Referees are not paid for their efforts (which is understandable) and only few of them have time enough to check the relevance of the citations (especially if there are many of them). But, even if the citation is relevant, it is very rare that the author seriously reads and discusses the cited paper and compares his/her results with other publications - unless if the publication is devoted to prove or disprove a specific "competitor" publication. I would be glad to hear the opinion and experience of others on this topic.
📢 IEA EBC Annex#81 calls for datasets of B2G services: do you have or know some?
2 answers
  • Hicham JohraHicham Johra
📢 IEA EBC Annex#81 calls for datasets of B2G services: The Annex#81 subtask C3 team is coordinating a survey to collect open datasets for building-to-grid services (B2G) and would like to kindly ask you to contribute by providing a description and link to your data using this Google Form ( 🔖 This survey aims to collect data (time series and metadata) from buildings performing demand-response, demand-side management or energy flexibility. The dataset may be from existing, simulated, or semi-simulated hardware-in-the-loop buildings. The collected datasets will be used for: ➡️ Gathering use cases and assessing typical DR strategies, buildings types, energy systems and data requirements, ➡️ Testing energy flexibility KPIs for the review activity of C3 on existing KPIs for B2G services, ➡️ And, possibly, comparing the existing solutions against “grid challenges” from the proposed C3 web-based showcase platform. ⌛️This survey should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your valuable contributions! Don't hesitate to share that post. Feel free to reach us (Hicham Johra:; Flávia de Andrade Pereira: if you have any questions. #Annex81 #survey #dataset #B2G #KPIs #DR #DSM #datadriven #smartbuildings #flexibility #metadata #datarequirements
Scientists Support Ukraine
Be the first to reply
  • Ijad MadischIjad Madisch
Like so many, I am shocked and saddened at seeing war break out in Europe. My thoughts – and those of the ResearchGate team – are with the people of Ukraine and everyone affected.
ResearchGate is an international company, whose purpose is to enable scientists across the world to work together openly and collaboratively, regardless of borders or nationality. We have people from over 40 countries on our staff of around 200, and being based in Berlin, we are profoundly aware of the human cost of conflicts, the echoes of which have shaped and scarred our home city. We join with the international community in condemning the actions of the Russian state.
We have been asking ourselves: What can we do?
From today, we will offer free advertising space worth $2.5 million on our network to humanitarian organizations working to respond to the crisis. ResearchGate benefits from over 50 million visitors every month, and we hope this initiative can help raise funds and awareness for those organizations that are having direct impact and need support.
We also want to use our platform to highlight the response from the scientific community. Personally, I have found the messages of support from scientists everywhere to be truly heartfelt, and I would like to highlight some of the community initiatives I’ve seen here:
Additionally, I’m posting here some of the organizations responding to the crisis and actively soliciting donations:
To help gather more support for these initiatives, please consider sharing this post further (you don’t need a ResearchGate account to see it), and I will continue to update it with other initiatives as I find them. You can also click “Recommend” below to help others in your ResearchGate network see it. And if you know of any other community initiatives that we can share here please let us know via this form:
-Ijad Madisch, CEO & Co-Founder of ResearchGate
Update 03/07:
This list outlines country-level initiatives from various academic institutions and research organizations, with a focus on programs and sponsorship for Ukrainian researchers:
What do you think about "scientific production" evaluation indices, such as those of Hirsch (h) or Google Scholar (i10) or others?
6 replies
  • B. Mohammed-AziziB. Mohammed-Azizi
The elephant in the room: multi-authorship and the assessment of individual researchers
George A. Lozano
Estonian Centre of Evolutionary Ecology, 15 Tähe Street, Tartu, Estonia, 50108 Abstract
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.
My comment:
"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.

Related Publications

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...
Got a technical question?
Get high-quality answers from experts.