The continuous public goods game and the evolution of cooperative sex ratios

Yoshitaka Kamimura, Jun Abe, Hiroshi Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some animals, such as Melittobia wasps and surface-living mites, have extremely female-biased sex ratios that cannot be explained by the existing local mate competition (LMC) theories. The restricted production of sons may entail cooperation among mothers, enabling the production of more daughters and avoiding severe competition among sons for insemination access. These unusual examples are characterized by the long-term cohabitation of egg-layers (foundresses) on resource patches and possible contact with oviposited eggs. By applying the logic of mutual policing, we develop a novel game theoretical model for the evolution of cooperation in sex-ratio traits. This is the first attempt to model the evolution of sex ratios based on iterated games. We assumed that foundresses have two abilities to enable mutual policing: they can monitor the sex ratio in the resource patch, and they can punish defectors that produce an overabundance of males. Numerical analysis and evolutionary simulations demonstrate that cooperative low sex ratios can evolve when the number of foundresses per patch is sufficiently small. Our model predicts a slight, but steady increase in oviposition sex ratios with an increase in the number of foundresses, which mimics the phenomenon observed in several animals with extremely female-biased sex ratios. We also discuss the relationship between our model and other models of sex-ratio evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume252
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May 21
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sex Ratio
cooperatives
sex ratio
Game
Patch
Animals
Biased
Melittobia
Numerical analysis
Evolution of Cooperation
Wasps
Oviposition
Resources
Insemination
Mites
Model
insemination
Theoretical Model
Eggs
Ovum

Keywords

  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Iterated games
  • Mutual policing
  • Prisoner's dilemma
  • Sex ratio adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

The continuous public goods game and the evolution of cooperative sex ratios. / Kamimura, Yoshitaka; Abe, Jun; Ito, Hiroshi.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 252, No. 2, 21.05.2008, p. 277-287.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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