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January American Naturalist highlights
Date:1/4/2008

ting was more hazardous to females than we had suspected, explains Priest, who conducted the study as part of his doctoral research. Increased mating frequency actually accelerated the female aging process. But, the daughters of frequent mating mothers had enhanced offspring production. Are the benefits to daughters enough to recoup the costs of mating" The authors evaluated their data using a model of inclusive fitness which considered the multi-generation costs and benefits of frequent mating. They found that costs to mothers were balanced by benefits to daughters such that frequency mating was neither detrimental nor beneficial. This finding indicates that cross-generational fitness effects may play an important role in evolution of mating frequency in the fruit fly and may have a more general role in life history evolution.

That this phenomenon was discovered in the fruit fly is surprising. The fruit fly is often hailed as an example of sexual conflict, in part because males and females appeared to have conflicting optimal mating frequencies. But, the work of Priest and colleagues shows that the genes which determine mating frequency in females might actually spread faster, despite direct costs to females, when their effects are considered over multiple generations. Sexual conflict might still have an important role in the evolution of mating behavior, states Priest. But, clearly, we have to consider the fitness consequences of mating over more than one generation. Males and females are not in conflict with respect to mating frequency, as they both appear to benefit from frequent mating.


"Optimal cell size for resource uptake in fluids: a new facet of resource competition"
Kohei Yoshiyama and Christopher A. Klausmeier (Michigan State University)

Ecologists generally observe a positive relationship between sizes of predators and their prey, mainly because predators need to be large to eat a larger prey. But doe
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Contact: Rudy Faust
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