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Data from: Sex allocation conflict between queens and workers in Formica pratensis wood ants predicts seasonal sex ratio variation

Citation

Helanterä, Heikki; Kulmuni, Jonna; Pamilo, Pekka (2016), Data from: Sex allocation conflict between queens and workers in Formica pratensis wood ants predicts seasonal sex ratio variation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m9h08

Abstract

Sex allocation theory predicts parents should adjust their investment in male and female offspring in a way that increases parental fitness. This has been shown in several species and selective contexts. Yet, seasonal sex ratio variation within species and its underlying causes are poorly understood. Here we study sex allocation variation in the wood ant Formica pratensis. This species displays conflict over colony sex ratio as workers and queens prefer different investment in male and female offspring, owing to haplodiploidy and relatedness asymmetries. It is unique among Formica ants because it produces two separate sexual offspring cohorts per season. We predict sex ratios to be closer to queen optimum in the early cohort but more female-biased and closer to worker optimum in the later one. This is because the power of workers to manipulate colony sex ratio varies seasonally with the availability of diploid eggs. Consistently more female-biased sex ratios in the later offspring cohort over a three-year sampling period from 93 colonies clearly support our prediction. The resulting seasonal alternation of sex ratios between queen and worker optima is a novel demonstration how understanding constraints of sex ratio adjustment increases our ability to predict sex ratio variation.

Usage Notes

Location

Fennoscandia
Europe
Finland