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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Sex Allocation

By: Stuart West
466 pages, 107 figs, 15 tabs
Sex Allocation
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  • Sex Allocation ISBN: 9780691089645 Paperback Oct 2009 Usually dispatched within 4 days
  • Sex Allocation ISBN: 9780691089638 Hardback Nov 2009 Out of Print #180675
Selected version: £51.99
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About this book

Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of theoretical and empirical studies of sex allocation, transforming how we understand the allocation of resources to male and female reproduction in vertebrates, invertebrates, protozoa, and plants. In this landmark book, Stuart West synthesizes the vast literature on sex allocation, providing the conceptual framework the field has been lacking and demonstrating how sex-allocation studies can shed light on broader questions in evolutionary and behavioral biology. West clarifies fundamental misconceptions in the application of theory to empirical data.

He examines the field's successes and failures, and describes the research areas where much important work is yet to be done. West reveals how a shared underlying theoretical framework unites findings of sex-ratio variation across a huge range of life forms, from malarial parasites and hermaphroditic worms to sex-changing fish and mammals. He shows how research on sex allocation has been central to many critical questions and controversies in evolutionary and behavioral biology, and he argues that sex-allocation research serves as a key testing ground for different theoretical approaches and can help resolve debates about social evolution, parent-offspring conflict, genomic conflict, and levels of selection. Certain to become the defining book on the subject for the next generation of researchers, "Sex Allocation" explains why the study of sex allocation provides an ideal model system for advancing our understanding of the constraints on adaptation among all living things in the natural world.


Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1: Sex Allocation 1 1.1 What Is Sex Allocation? 1 1.2 A Potted History 2 1.3 Why Is This Book Needed? 8 1.4 What Is in This Book 8 1.5 What Is Not in This Book 10 1.6 How To Read This Book 11 1.7 Language and Sex Ratios 12 Chapter 2: The Dusing-Fisher Theory of Equal Investment 14 2.1 Introduction 14 2.2 Fisher's Theory of Equal Investment 15 2.3 Darwin to Today 16 2.4 Differential Mortality 19 2.5 Testing Fisher's Theory 20 2.6 Conclusions and Future Directions 31 Chapter 3: Interactions between Relatives I: Cooperation and Competition 33 3.1 Introduction 33 3.2 Basic Theory 34 3.3 Local Resource Enhancement 40 3.4 Local Resource Competition 53 3.5 Conclusions and Future Directions 69 Chapter 4: Interactions between Relatives II: Local Mate Competition 73 4.1 Introduction 73 4.2 Classic Local Mate Competition Theory 74 4.3 Empirical Tests of Local Mate Competition Theory across Populations or Species 83 4.4 Facultative Adjustment of Offspring Sex Ratios by Individuals 93 4.5 Conclusions and Future Directions 107 Chapter 5: Interactions between Relatives III: Extended Local Mate Competition Theory 109 5.1 Introduction 109 5.2 Partial LMC 110 5.3 Variable Clutch Size 116 5.4 Sibmating and Split Sex Ratios in Haplodiploids 131 5.5 Inbreeding Depression 134 5.6 Limited Dispersal and Relatedness between Foundress Females 136 5.7 Haystacks 140 5.8 Asymmetrical Larval Competition 143 5.9 Fertility Insurance 143 5.10 Variance and Precision 151 5.11 Other Population Structures 154 5.12 Stochasticity 155 5.13 Conclusions and Future Directions 156 Chapter 6: Conditional Sex Allocation I: Basic Scenarios 162 6.1 Introduction 162 6.2 Theory 165 6.3 Solitary Parasitoid Wasps and Host Size 167 6.4 Maternal Quality in Ungulates 174 6.5 Maternal Quality and Related Factors in Nonungulates 182 6.6 Mate Attractiveness in Birds and Lizards 187 6.7 Environmental Sex Determination 191 6.8 Sex Change 198 6.9 Conclusions and Future Directions 205 Chapter 7: Conditional Sex Allocation II: Population Consequences and Further Complications 210 7.1 Introduction 210 7.2 Population-Level Patterns 211 7.3 Sex Change Complications 225 7.4 ESD Complications, Especially in Reptiles 243 7.5 Multiple Selective Forces: LMC and Host Size in Parasitoid Wasps 251 7.6 Simultaneous Hermaphrodites 254 7.7 Conclusions and Future Directions 255 Chapter 8: Sex Allocation When Generations Overlap 257 8.1 Introduction 257 8.2 Exceptional Mortality 258 8.3 Exceptional Recruitment 263 8.4 Cyclical Models 265 8.5 Conclusions and Future Directions 273 Chapter 9: Conflict I: Between Individuals 276 9.1 Introduction 276 9.2 Conflict under Fisherian Selection 277 9.3 Conflict under LMC, LRC, and LRE 278 9.4 Sibling Conflict in Haplodiploids and Single-Sex Broods 281 9.5 Polyembryonic Parasitoids 282 9.6 Sex Allocation Conflicts in the Eusocial Hymenoptera 287 9.7 Conclusions and Future Directions 311 Chapter 10: Conflict II: Sex Allocation Distorters 316 10.1 Introduction 316 10.2 Classification of Sex Ratio Distorters 317 10.3 Case Studies 329 10.4 Consequences of Sex Ratio Distorters 344 10.5 Conclusions and Future Directions 351 Chapter 11: General Issues 353 11.1 Introduction 353 11.2 The Success of Sex Allocation 354 11.3 The Use of Sex Allocation 355 11.4 Outstanding Problems 375 References 379 Index 463

Customer Reviews


Stuart West is professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Oxford.
By: Stuart West
466 pages, 107 figs, 15 tabs
Media reviews
Understanding mating strategies and the allocation of resources to male versus female reproduction has long been a major goal of evolutionary studies. In this comprehensive synthesis, West makes several important contributions to the field of evolutionary biology... Because the work primarily focuses on how natural selection shapes sex allocation for given sex determination systems, sex allocation is proven an important phenomenon for studying adaptation. This thorough conceptual perspective, blending theory and data, summarizes sex allocation theory and how different areas are applied to different organisms. -- Choice
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