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Trends Ecol Evol. 2010 Feb;25(2):99-108. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Social and coevolutionary feedbacks between mating and parental investment.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, 165 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


A survey of empirical studies relating mating and parental investment reveals as many unpredicted patterns as results supporting existing hypotheses. This leaves us with individual post hoc explanations of observed patterns rather than an ability to make strong a priori predictions. I argue here that our ability to explain and predict empirical patterns can be improved by considering how social interactions and coevolutionary dynamics affect male and female reproductive traits. Recent research suggests that these social and coevolutionary feedbacks can increase our understanding of empirical patterns, while suggesting new directions of research. I also describe a social and coevolutionary dynamics modelling approach that integrates ideas from reproductive cooperation and sexual conflict to increase understanding of mating and parental investment.

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