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Experimental Studies of the Evolutionary Significance of Sexual Reproduction II. A Test of the Density-Dependent Selection Hypothesis
Norman C. Ellstrand and Janis Antonovics
Vol. 39, No. 3 (May, 1985), pp. 657-666
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408660
Page Count: 10
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This study tests the hypothesis that one evolutionary advantage of sexual reproduction is that it produces genetically variable progeny with a density-dependent advantage mediated by resource partitioning or pest pressure. Our experimental approach involved planting separate plots of sexually-derived and asexually-derived tillers of the grass Anthoxanthum odoratum in density gradients at the two natural sites from which the source material was taken. The sexual progeny displayed a significant fitness advantage compared to the asexual progeny. But, in contrast to the expectations of the density-dependent selection hypothesis, the advantage of the sexually produced progeny is most marked at lower densities. Thus, the results of this experiment and our previous report (Antonovics and Ellstrand, 1984) seem to best support the frequency-dependent selection hypothesis for the advantage of sexual reproduction.
Evolution © 1985 Society for the Study of Evolution