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Data from: Eco-evolutionary feedback promotes Red Queen dynamics and selects for sex in predator populations

Citation

Haafke, Julia; Chakra, Maria Abou; Becks, Lutz (2016), Data from: Eco-evolutionary feedback promotes Red Queen dynamics and selects for sex in predator populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nk707

Abstract

Although numerous hypotheses exist to explain the overwhelming presence of sexual reproduction across the tree of life, we still cannot explain its prevalence when considering all inherent costs involved. The Red Queen hypothesis states that sex is maintained because it can create novel genotypes with a selective advantage. This occurs when the interactions between species induce frequent environmental change. Here we investigate whether coevolution and eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics in a predator-prey system allows for indirect selection and maintenance of sexual reproduction in the predator. Combining models and chemostat experiments of a rotifer-algae system we show a continuous feedback between population and trait change along with recurrent shifts from selection by predation and competition for a limited resource. We found that a high propensity for sex was indirectly selected and was maintained in rotifer populations within environments containing these eco-evolutionary dynamics; whereas within environments under constant conditions, predators evolved rapidly to lower levels of sex. Thus, our results indicate that the influence of eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics on the overall evolutionary change has been underestimated.

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