Evolution of paternal care in diploid and haplodiploid populations

N. G. Davies*, A. Gardner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

W. D. Hamilton famously suggested that the inflated relatedness of full sisters under haplodiploidy explains why all workers in the social hymenoptera are female. This suggestion has not stood up to further theoretical scrutiny and is not empirically supported. Rather, it appears that altruistic sib-rearing in the social hymenoptera is performed exclusively by females because this behaviour has its origins in parental care, which was performed exclusively by females in the ancestors of this insect group. However, haplodiploidy might still explain the sex of workers if this mode of inheritance has itself been responsible for the rarity of paternal care in this group. Here, we perform a theoretical kin selection analysis to investigate the evolution of paternal care in diploid and haplodiploid populations. We find that haplodiploidy may either inhibit or promote paternal care depending on model assumptions, but that under the most plausible scenarios it promotes - rather than inhibits - paternal care. Our analysis casts further doubt upon there being a causal link between haplodiploidy and eusociality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1019
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • diploidy
  • eusociality
  • evolutionary genetics
  • haplodiploidy
  • hymenoptera
  • indirect genetic effects
  • kin selection
  • parental care
  • reproductive value
  • social evolution
  • KIN SELECTION
  • SEX-DETERMINATION
  • ALTRUISTIC BEHAVIOR
  • INCLUSIVE FITNESS
  • SOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
  • HYMENOPTERA
  • EUSOCIALITY
  • INSECTS
  • MODEL
  • FERTILIZATION

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