The twofold cost of sex unfolded
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Evolutionary Ecology Research
Förlag: Evolutionary Ecology Ltd
Question: Considering ecological factors and life history, how easy is it for sexual reproduction (as a strategy) to invade and persist in a population where all individuals are reproducing asexually? Mathematical method: We use a population growth equation that despite its simplicity captures several relevant ecological parameters: age-specific survival, differential birth rates, as well as both within-strategy and between-strategy competition. We perform invasion analysis to reach conclusions about the stability of the two evolutionary strategies. Key assumptions: Sexual and asexual reproduction can be thought of as a strategy game. Instead of focusing on the genetic advantages of sexual reproduction, we explore the ecological and demographic conditions under which the two main reproductive strategies are maintained. Conclusions: From an ecological point of view, sexual reproduction remains enigmatic only if the sexual strategy implies monogamy, there are no ecological interactions between the alternative reproductive strategies, and the life histories of both asexual and sexual strategies are limited to semelparity. Relaxation of those very restrictive ecological conditions allows for the co-existence of sexual and asexual reproduction as well as mutual invasion of the two strategies.
- Biological Sciences
- life history
- evolution of sex
- ISSN: 1522-0613