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paco.garcia[at]ebd.csic.es

Bet-hedging

Publications filtered by: Bet-hedging

Bet-hedging as a mechanism for the evolution of polyandry, revisited
Yasui, Y. & Garcia-Gonzalez, F. 2016 Bet-hedging as a mechanism for the evolution of polyandry, revisited Evolution, 70: 385-397
Abstract

Females that mate with multiple males (polyandry) may reduce the risk that their eggs are fertilized by a single unsuitable male. About 25 years ago it was hypothesized that bet-hedging could function as a mechanism favoring the evolution of polyandry, but this idea is controversial because theory indicates that bet-hedging via polyandry can compensate the costs of mating only in small populations. Nevertheless, populations are often spatially structured, and even in the absence of spatial structure, mate choice opportunity can be limited to a few potential partners. We examined the effectiveness of bet-hedging in such situations with simulations carried out under two scenarios; (1) intrinsic male quality, with offspring survival determined by male phenotype (male’s ability to generate viable offspring), and (2) genetic incompatibility (offspring fitness determined non-additively by parental genotypes). We find higher fixation probabilities for a polyandrous strategy compared to a monandrous strategy if complete reproductive failure due to male effects or parental incompatibility is pervasive in the population. Our results also indicate that bet-hedging polyandry can delay the extinction of small demes. Our results underscore the potential for bet-hedging to provide benefits to polyandrous females and have valuable implications for conservation biology.

Risk-spreading by mating multiply is plausible and requires empirical attention
Garcia-Gonzalez, F., Yasui, Y. & Evans, J.P. 2015 Risk-spreading by mating multiply is plausible and requires empirical attention Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 282: 20150866
Mating portfolios: bet-hedging, sexual selection and female multiple mating
Garcia-Gonzalez, F., Yasui, Y. and Evans, J. P. 2015 Mating portfolios: bet-hedging, sexual selection and female multiple mating Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 282: 20141525
Abstract

Polyandry (female multiple mating) has profound evolutionary and ecological implications. Despite considerable work devoted to understanding why females mate multiply, we currently lack convincing empirical evidence to explain the adaptive value of polyandry. Here we provide a direct test of the controversial idea that bet-hedging functions as a risk-spreading strategy that yields multi-generational fitness benefits to polyandrous females. Unfortunately, testing this hypothesis is far from trivial, and the empirical comparison of the across-generations fitness payoffs of a polyandrous (bet hedger) versus a monandrous (non-bet hedger) strategy has never been accomplished because of numerous experimental constraints presented by most ‘model’ species. In the present study we take advantage of the extraordinary tractability and versatility of a marine broadcast spawning invertebrate to overcome these challenges. We are able to simulate multi-generational (geometric mean) fitness among individual females assigned simultaneously to a polyandrous and monandrous mating strategy. Our approaches, which separate and account for the effects of sexual selection and pure bet-hedging scenarios, reveal that bet-hedging, in addition to sexual selection, can enhance evolutionary fitness in multiply-mated females. In addition to offering a tractable experimental approach for addressing bet-hedging theory, our study provides key insights into the evolutionary ecology of sexual interactions.