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January American Naturalist highlights
Date:1/4/2008

ntuitively, strong positive interactions tend to deteriorate ecosystem functioning because consumers become very efficient at exploiting their resources. "Nontrophic interactions are still poorly studied theoretically, and their impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning was largely unknown," says Michel Loreau, Canada Research Chair in theoretical ecology. "We hope that our new approach will boost their study and contribute to a more comprehensive theory of complex ecological systems. Organisms interact in many other ways than through feeding on each other or competing for shared resources," he adds. "Ecology should be able to account, not only for the diversity of species, but also for the diversity of their interactions."


"Mating frequency and inclusive fitness in Drosophila melanogaster"
Nicholas K. Priest (University of Virginia and Indiana University), Laura F. Galloway (University of Virginia), and Deborah A. Roach (University of Virginia)

Sexual conflict resolution?

In the genes eye view, female mating frequency is difficult to understand. A substantial body of evidence, taken throughout the animal kingdom, demonstrates that females mate frequently, even when bouts of mating decrease offspring production. This finding is counterintuitive because we would expect natural selection to remove mating behaviors which decrease fitness. However, new research suggests that frequent mating females receive fitness benefits from an unexpected source: their daughters. Evolutionary Biologists from the University of Virginia Nick Priest, Laura Galloway and Deborah Roach manipulated the mating frequency of female fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, and observed how mating frequency affected the lifetime reproductive output of those females and their daughters. They found that frequent mating decreased maternal survival and reproductive output, but increased the reproductive output of daughters.

Frequent ma
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Contact: Rudy Faust
rfaust@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
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