August 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Morris Presents ‘Intralocus Tactical Conflict and the Evolution of “Reversible” Alternative Reproductive Tactics’

Dr. Molly Morris, Professor of Biological Sciences, presented a paper on”Intralocus Tactical Conflict and the Evolution of ‘Reversible’ Alternative Reproductive Tactics” at the 2014 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists July 30 to Aug. 4 in Chattanooga, TN.

Dr. Molly Morris

Dr. Molly Morris

Abstract: Alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) are characterized by consistent and discrete variation in reproductive behaviors (e.g. mating, fighting, nesting) of members of the same sex. When males engaging in very different mating behaviors, such as courtship to coax females to mate as compared to sneaking to circumvent female mate preferences, the phenotypes that are optimal for using these two different behaviors are not likely to be the same. ARTs could be constrained from reaching their phenotypic optima as they share their gene pool with the other ART (either the same male, or different males within a population). If traits are not at their adaptive optimum when expressed in one or both of the ARTs, then tactical disruptive selection can produce intralocus tactical conflict (IATC). I present the concept of IATC using the ARTs in the swordtail fish Xiphophorus multilineatus as an example. I argue that because IATC could constrain the evolution of ARTs within a species, preventing some traits from reaching their phenotypic optimum, this could explain why reversible ARTs (behavioral plasticity in mating behaviors) are more common than irreversible ARTs. In addition, I suggest that IATC could facilitate rapid evolution once one of the ARTs is lost, po

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