Inbreeding load, bet hedging, and the evolution of sex-biased dispersal

Am Nat. 2009 Apr;173(4):536-41. doi: 10.1086/597218.


Abstract: Inbreeding load affects not only the average fecundity of philopatric individuals but also its variance. From bet-hedging theory, this should add further dispersal pressures to those stemming from the mere avoidance of inbreeding. Pressures on both sexes are identical under monogamy or promiscuity. Under polygyny, by contrast, the variance in reproductive output decreases with dispersal rate in females but increases in males, which should induce a female-biased dispersal. To test this prediction, we performed individual-based simulations. From our results, a female-biased dispersal indeed emerges as both polygyny and inbreeding load increase. We conclude that sex-biased dispersal may be selected for as a bet-hedging strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Demography*
  • Inbreeding*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*