Sex ratio polymorphism: The impact of mutation and drift on evolution

Acta Biotheoretica 37 (2) (1988)
Abstract
This paper addresses the question, which sex ratio will evolve in a population that is subject to mutation and drift. The problem is analyzed using a simulation model as well as analytical methods. A detailed simulation model for the evolution of a population's allele distribution shows that for the sex ratio game a wide spectrum of different population states may evolve from on the one hand a monomorphic state with one predominant allele and with all other alleles suppressed by the forces of selection, to on the other hand a polymorphism determined by recurrent mutations. Which of these states will evolve depends on the population size, the mating system and the rate of mutations. For the sex ratio game the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS), as defined by evolutionary game theory, can only predict the population sex ratio but not the underlying stable population state. A comparison of different approaches to the problem shows that false predictions of the stable population states might result from two simplifying assumptions that are fairly common in evolutionary biology:a) it is assumed that mutations are rare events and there is never more than one mutant gene present in a population at any one time; b) a deterministic relationship is assumed between the fitness assigned to an individual's strategy and the individual's contribution to the gene pool of future generations.
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