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Sexual conflict and intrasexual polymorphism promote assortative mating and halt population differentiation
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology. (Bergsten Systematic Entomology Lab)
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2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 286, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sexual conflict is thought to be an important evolutionary force in drivingphenotypic diversification, population divergence, and speciation. However,empirical evidence is inconsistent with the generality that sexual conflictenhances population divergence. Here, we demonstrate an alternativeevolutionary outcome in which sexual conflict plays a conservative role inmaintaining male and female polymorphisms locally, rather than promotingpopulation divergence. In diving beetles, female polymorphisms haveevolved in response to male mating harassment and sexual conflict. We presentthe first empirical evidence that this female polymorphism is associatedwith (i) two distinct and sympatric male morphological mating clusters(morphs) and (ii) assortative mating between male and female morphs.Changes in mating traits in one sex led to a predictable change in the othersex which leads to predictable within-population evolutionary dynamics inmale and female morph frequencies. Our results reveal that sexual conflictcan lead to assortative mating between male offence and female defencetraits, if a stable male and female mating polymorphisms are maintained.Stable male and female mating polymorphisms are an alternative outcometo an accelerating coevolutionary arms race driven by sexual conflict. Suchstable polymorphisms challenge the common view of sexual conflict as anengine of rapid speciation via exaggerated coevolution between sexes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 286, p. 1-8
Keywords [en]
coevolution, sexual antagonism, sympatric speciation, population variation, spatial structure
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3454DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0251OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3454DiVA, id: diva2:1374719
Available from: 2019-12-02 Created: 2019-12-02 Last updated: 2019-12-03Bibliographically approved

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