Dynamics of sex ratio and female unmatedness under haplodiploidy
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Haplodiploid sex determination allows unmated females to produce sons. Consequently, a scarcity of males may lead to a significant proportion of females remaining unmated, which may in turn give rise to a surfeit of males in the following generation. Stable oscillation of the sex ratio has been predicted by classic models, and it remains a puzzle as to why this is not observed in natural populations. Here, I investigate the dynamics of sex allocation over ecological and evolutionary timescales to assess the potential for sustained oscillation. I find that, whilst stable oscillation of the sex ratio is possible, the scope for such dynamical behavior is reduced if sex allocation strategies are evolutionary labile, especially if mated females may facultatively adjust their sex allocation according to the present availability of mating partners. My model, taken together with empirical estimates of female unmatedness in haplodiploid taxa, suggests that sustained oscillation of the sex ratio is implausible in natural populations. However, this phenomenon may be relevant to artificially introduced biological control agents.
Gardner , A 2014 , ' Dynamics of sex ratio and female unmatedness under haplodiploidy ' Ecology and Evolution , vol 4 , no. 9 , pp. 1623-1628 . DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1045
Ecology and Evolution
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