Document Detail

Sexual selection enables long-term coexistence despite ecological equivalence.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22466286     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Empirical data indicate that sexual preferences are critical for maintaining species boundaries, yet theoretical work has suggested that, on their own, they can have only a minimal role in maintaining biodiversity. This is because long-term coexistence within overlapping ranges is thought to be unlikely in the absence of ecological differentiation. Here we challenge this widely held view by generalizing a standard model of sexual selection to include two ubiquitous features of populations with sexual selection: spatial variation in local carrying capacity, and mate-search costs in females. We show that, when these two features are combined, sexual preferences can single-handedly maintain coexistence, even when spatial variation in local carrying capacity is so slight that it might go unnoticed empirically. This theoretical study demonstrates that sexual selection alone can promote the long-term coexistence of ecologically equivalent species with overlapping ranges, and it thus provides a novel explanation for the maintenance of species diversity.
Leithen K M'gonigle; Rupert Mazzucco; Sarah P Otto; Ulf Dieckmann
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
1] Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4 [2] Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 130 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
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