Does Sex Speed Up Evolutionary Rate and Increase Biodiversity?

Melian Penate, Carlos Javier; Alonso, David; Allesina, Stefano; Condit, Richard S.; Etienne, Rampal S. (2012). Does Sex Speed Up Evolutionary Rate and Increase Biodiversity? PLoS computational biology, 8(3), e1002414. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002414

[img]
Preview
Text
melian_alonso.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (2MB) | Preview

Most empirical and theoretical studies have shown that sex increases the rate of evolution, although evidence of sex constraining genomic and epigenetic variation and slowing down evolution also exists. Faster rates with sex have been attributed to new gene combinations, removal of deleterious mutations, and adaptation to heterogeneous environments. Slower rates with sex have been attributed to removal of major genetic rearrangements, the cost of finding a mate, vulnerability to predation, and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. Whether sex speeds or slows evolution, the connection between reproductive mode, the evolutionary rate, and species diversity remains largely unexplored. Here we present a spatially explicit model of ecological and evolutionary dynamics based on DNA sequence change to study the connection between mutation, speciation, and the resulting biodiversity in sexual and asexual populations. We show that faster speciation can decrease the abundance of newly formed species and thus decrease long-term biodiversity. In this way, sex can reduce diversity relative to asexual populations, because it leads to a higher rate of production of new species, but with lower abundances. Our results show that reproductive mode and the mechanisms underlying it can alter the link between mutation, evolutionary rate, speciation and biodiversity and we suggest that a high rate of evolution may not be required to yield high biodiversity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Melian Penate, Carlos Javier

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1553-734X

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2014 14:35

Last Modified:

09 Dec 2014 16:15

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002414

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.48934

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/48934

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback