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The effect of sex on the mean and variance of fitness in facultatively sexual rotifers
 

Summary: The effect of sex on the mean and variance of fitness
in facultatively sexual rotifers
L. BECKS* & A. F. AGRAWAL*
*Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Department of General Ecology and Limnology, Center for Biological Sciences, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Introduction
Despite the well-known costs of sex, this mode of
reproduction is pervasive in plants and animals. The
costs of sex are believed to be outweighed by the benefits
of shuffling genes (Otto & Lenormand, 2002; Agrawal,
2006b), and such benefits may be realized in either of
two (nonexclusive) ways. First, sexual offspring may
have higher mean fitness than asexual offspring. This has
been described as a short-term advantage to sex (Barton,
1995; Lenormand & Otto, 2000; Agrawal, 2009b). Sec-
ond, sexual offspring may have higher variance in fitness
than asexual offspring, thus allowing the sexually pro-
duced subpopulation to respond to selection faster than
the asexually produced subpopulation. This is known as a
long-term advantage to sex.

  

Source: Agrawal, Aneil F. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology