Phenotypically plastic adjustment of sex allocation in a simultaneous hermaphrodite

Schärer, Lukas and Ladurner, Peter. (2003) Phenotypically plastic adjustment of sex allocation in a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B, Biological sciences, 270 (1518). pp. 935-941.

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Sex allocation theory for simultaneous hermaphrodites predicts an influence of the mating group size on sex allocation. Mating group size may depend on the size of the group in which an individual lives, or on the density, but studies to date have not distinguished between the two factors. We performed an experiment in which we raised a transparent simultaneous hermaphrodite, the flatworm Macrostomum sp., in different group sizes (pairs, triplets, quartets and octets) and in different enclosure sizes (small and large). This design allows us to differentiate between the effects of group size and density. After worms reached maturity we determined their reproductive allocation patterns from microscopic images taken in vivo . The results suggest that the mating group size is a function of the group size, and not of the density. They support the shift to higher male allocation in larger mating groups predicted by sex allocation theory. To our knowledge, this is the first study that unambiguously shows phenotypically plastic sex allocation in response to mating group size in a simultaneous hermaphrodite.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Schärer)
UniBasel Contributors:Schärer, Lukas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:The Royal Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Sep 2017 06:16
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:05

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