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Maternal effects obscure condition-dependent sex allocation in changing environments


Edwards, AM and Cameron, EZ and Wapstra, E and McEvoy, J, Maternal effects obscure condition-dependent sex allocation in changing environments, Royal Society Open Science, 6, (4) Article 181885. ISSN 2054-5703 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1098/rsos.181885


Climate change increases environmental fluctuations which thereby impact population demography. Species with temperature-dependent sex determination may experience more extreme sex ratio skews, but this has not been considered in species with chromosomally determined sex. However, anticipatory maternal effects cause lifelong physiological changes impacting sex ratios. Here we show, in mice, that more sons were born to mothers in good condition when their breeding environment matched their gestational environment, consistent with theoretical predictions, but mothers in mismatched environments have no condition-sex ratio relationship. Thus, the predicted effect of condition on sex ratio was obscured by maternal effects when the environment changed. This may explain extreme sex ratio skews in reintroduced or translocated populations, and sex ratio skews may become more common and less predictable with accelerating environmental change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mice, Trivers-Willard, sex ratio, offspring, sex allocation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Life histories
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Other animal production and animal primary products
Objective Field:Animal welfare
UTAS Author:Edwards, AM (Dr Amy Edwards)
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
UTAS Author:McEvoy, J (Dr Joanne McEvoy)
ID Code:132555
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP140103227)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2019-05-13
Last Modified:2020-07-22
Downloads:22 View Download Statistics

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