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Daphnia females adjust sex allocation in response to current sex ratio and density


Booksmythe, Isobel; Gerber, Nina; Ebert, Dieter; Kokko, Hanna (2018). Daphnia females adjust sex allocation in response to current sex ratio and density. Ecology Letters, 21(5):629-637.

Abstract

Cyclical parthenogenesis presents an interesting challenge for the study of sex allocation, as individuals’ allocation decisions involve both the choice between sexual and asexual reproduction, and the choice between sons and daughters. Male production is therefore expected to depend on ecological and evolutionary drivers of overall investment in sex, and those influencing male reproductive value during sexual periods. We manipulated experimental populations, and made repeated observations of natural populations over their growing season, to disentangle effects of population density and the timing of sex from effects of adult sex ratio on sex allocation in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia magna. Male production increased with population density, the major ecological driver of sexual reproduction; however, this response was dampened when the population sex ratio was more male‐biased. Thus, in line with sex ratio theory, we show that D. magna adjust offspring sex allocation in response to the current population sex ratio.

Abstract

Cyclical parthenogenesis presents an interesting challenge for the study of sex allocation, as individuals’ allocation decisions involve both the choice between sexual and asexual reproduction, and the choice between sons and daughters. Male production is therefore expected to depend on ecological and evolutionary drivers of overall investment in sex, and those influencing male reproductive value during sexual periods. We manipulated experimental populations, and made repeated observations of natural populations over their growing season, to disentangle effects of population density and the timing of sex from effects of adult sex ratio on sex allocation in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia magna. Male production increased with population density, the major ecological driver of sexual reproduction; however, this response was dampened when the population sex ratio was more male‐biased. Thus, in line with sex ratio theory, we show that D. magna adjust offspring sex allocation in response to the current population sex ratio.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 May 2018
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 10:19
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 09:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12929

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