Resource-dependent sex allocation in a simultaneous hermaphrodite

Vizoso, Dita Brígida and Schärer, Lukas. (2007) Resource-dependent sex allocation in a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20 (3). pp. 1046-1055.

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Most sex allocation theory is based on the relationship between the resource investment into male and female reproduction and the consequent fitness returns (often called fitness-gain curves). Here we investigate the effects of resource availability on the sex allocation of a simultaneously hermaphroditic animal, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We kept the worms under different resource levels and determined the size of their testes and ovaries over a period of time. At higher resource levels, worms allocated relatively more into the female function, suggesting a saturating male fitnessgain curve for this species. A large part of the observed effect was due to a correlated increase in body size, showing size-dependent sex allocation in M. lignano. However, a significant part of the overall effect was independent of body size, and therefore likely due to the differences in resource availability. Moreover, in accordance with a saturating male fitness-gain curve, the worms developed the male gonads first. As the group size was kept constant, our results contrast with expectations from sex allocation models that deal with local mate competition alone, and with previous experiments that test these models.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Schärer)
UniBasel Contributors:Schärer, Lukas and Vizoso, Dita B.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:02 Oct 2017 08:47
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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