Sex roles and the evolution of parental care specialization
Henshaw, Jonathan M.; Fromhage, Lutz; Jones, Adam G. (2019). Sex roles and the evolution of parental care specialization. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 286 (1909), 20191312. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1312
© 2019 The Author(s)
Males and females are defined by the relative size of their gametes (anisogamy), but secondary sexual dimorphism in fertilization, parental investment and mating competition is widespread and often remarkably stable over evolutionary timescales. Recent theory has clarified the causal connections between anisogamy and the most prevalent differences between the sexes, but deviations from these patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we study how sex differences in parental investment and mating competition coevolve with parental care specialization. Parental investment often consists of two or more distinct activities (e.g. provisioning and defence) and parents may care more efficiently by specializing in a subset of these activities. Our model predicts that efficient care specialization broadens the conditions under which biparental investment can evolve in lineages that historically had uniparental care. Major transitions in sex roles (e.g. from female-biased care with strong male mating competition to male-biased care with strong female competition) can arise following ecologically induced changes in the costs or benefits of different care types, or in the sex ratio at maturation. Our model provides a clear evolutionary mechanism for sex-role transitions, but also predicts that such transitions should be rare. It consequently contributes towards explaining widespread phylogenetic inertia in parenting and mating systems. ...
PublisherThe Royal Society Publishing
Dataset(s) related to the publicationhttps://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4614224.
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Research costs of Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 283486 to L.F.).
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