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Kin discrimination and demography modulate patterns of sexual conflict

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Author(s)

Gonçalo Faria, Andy Gardner, Pau Carazo

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Abstract

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the overlap between kin selection and sexual selection, particularly concerning how kin selection can put the brakes on harmful sexual conflict. However, there remains a significant disconnect between theory and empirical research. Whilst empirical work has focused on kin-discriminating behaviour, theoretical models have assumed indiscriminating behaviour. Additionally, theoretical work makes particular demographic assumptions that constrain the relationship between genetic relatedness and the scale of competition, and it is not clear that these assumptions reflect the natural setting in which sexual conflict has been empirically studied. Here, we plug this gap between current theoretical and empirical understanding by developing a mathematical model of sexual conflict that incorporates kin discrimination and different patterns of dispersal. We find that kin discrimination and group dispersal inhibit harmful male behaviours at an individual level, but kin discrimination intensifies sexual conflict at the population level.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
VolumeFirst Online
Early online date25 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2020

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