How Sex-Biased Dispersal Affects Sexual Conflict over Care
The American Naturalist
University of Chicago Press
© 2017 by The University of Chicago
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 24 March 2018 in compliance with publisher policy.
Existing models of parental investment have mainly focused on interactions at the level of the family and have paid much less attention to the impact of population-level processes. Here we extend classical models of parental care to assess the impact of population structure and limited dispersal. We find that sex differences in dispersal substantially affect the amount of care provided by each parent, with the more philopatric sex providing the majority of care to young. This effect is most pronounced in highly viscous populations: in such cases, when classical models would predict stable biparental care, inclusion of a modest sex difference in dispersal leads to uniparental care by the philopatric sex. In addition, mating skew also affects sex differences in parental investment, with the more numerous sex providing most of the care. However, the effect of mating skew holds only when parents care for their own offspring. When individuals breed communally, we recover the previous finding that the more philopatric sex provides most of the care even when it is the rarer sex. We conclude that sex-biased dispersal is likely to be an important yet currently overlooked driver of sex differences in parental care.
BK has been funded by an EPSRC 2020 Science fellowship (grant number EP/I017909/1) and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship (ECF 2015-273). RAJ has been funded by a EPSRC grant number EP/H031928/1. This work has made use of the Carson computing cluster at the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter. In addition, the authors acknowledge the use of the UCL Legion High Performance Computing Facility (Legion@UCL) and associated support services in the completion of this work. The Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Lorentz Centre at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands funded a workshop on nongenetic effects that contributed to this article.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from University of Chicago Press via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 189 (5), pp. 501 - 514