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Methodologies for testing a pluralist idea for the maintenance of sex

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The paradox of sex, despite decades of attention, remains unresolved. Recent efforts to gain insight into the nature of the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of sex have led to an emphasis on a pluralist approach, with a particular focus on interaction between multiple mechanisms. However, few empirical tests of pluralist models exist, perhaps due to the widely held assumption that major complications inevitably accompany such tests. Here, we address this issue by providing an overview of how testing of a pluralist idea for the maintenance of sex could be achieved. We also suggest a more specific methodology designed to test for interactive effects between Muller’s ratchet and Red Queen dynamics, two models that are widely seen as providing potentially general explanations for the maintenance of sex. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 89, 605–613.

Keywords: Muller’s Ratchet; Red Queen; asexual; hypothesis; model

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2006


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