Daphnia invest in sexual reproduction when its relative costs are reduced

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Gerber , N , Kokko , H , Ebert , D & Booksmythe , I 2018 , ' Daphnia invest in sexual reproduction when its relative costs are reduced ' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences , vol. 285 , no. 1871 , 20172176 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2176

Title: Daphnia invest in sexual reproduction when its relative costs are reduced
Author: Gerber, Nina; Kokko, Hanna; Ebert, Dieter; Booksmythe, Isobel
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Univ Zurich, University of Zurich, Dept Evolutionary Biol & Environm Studies
University of Helsinki, Tvärminne Zoological Station
Date: 2018-01-31
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
ISSN: 0962-8452
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309466
Abstract: The timing of sex in facultatively sexual organisms is critical to fitness, due to the differing demographic consequences of sexual versus asexual reproduction. In addition to the costs of sex itself, an association of sex with the production of dormant life stages also influences the optimal use of sex, especially in environments where resting eggs are essential to survive unfavourable conditions. Here we document population dynamics and the occurrence of sexual reproduction in natural populations of Daphnia magna across their growing season. The frequency of sexually reproducing females and males increased with population density and with decreasing asexual clutch sizes. The frequency of sexually reproducing females additionally increased as population growth rates decreased. Consistent with population dynamic models showing that the opportunity cost of sexual reproduction (foregoing contribution to current population growth) diminishes as populations approach carrying capacity, we found that investment in sexual reproduction was highest when asexual population growth was low or negative. Our results support the idea that the timing of sex is linked with periods when the relative cost of sex is reduced due to low potential asexual growth at high population densities. Thus, a combination of ecological and demographic factors affect the optimal timing of sexual reproduction, allowing D. magna to balance the necessity of sex against its costs.
Subject: timing of sex
Daphnia
population density
cost of sex
MIXED-EFFECTS MODELS
CYCLICAL PARTHENOGENS
LOCAL ADAPTATION
LIFE-HISTORY
PULEX
EVOLUTION
MAGNA
INDUCTION
ROTIFERS
DENSITY
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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