Evolutionary Resolutions of Conflicts with Mates and Offspring

Roger Härdling

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


In sexual conflicts and conflicts between parents and offspring, natural selection acts in different directions on the two sides. For example, males may be selected to achieve many mates, but female fitness may be maximised by monogamy. In this thesis I study the evolutionary outcome of these situations mainly by theoretical modelling. I present an empirical investigation of mating interactions in the marine isopod Idothea baltica L., where males are aggressive to overcome female reluctance to mate, and make a game-theoretical analysis of the system to explain the temporal patterns of male and female aggression from the changing payoffs in the evolutionary conflict. I show that evolutionary arms races of quantitative traits that increase power in conflicts will be halted if their costs increase fast enough. It is also shown that if the traits involved in the arms race are behaviours, the arms race will concomitantly decrease the extent of conflict, so that the conflict is automatically resolved. It is shown that the solution of the sexual conflict over provisioning of young may influence the subsequent evolution of clutch size. A specific insect case is analysed where the conflict is resolved so that females may exploit males, and where the conflict influences social behaviour. It is further shown that in plants, the parent-offspring conflict over seed provisioning is influenced by endosperm ploidy and multiple paternity.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Biology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Oct 6
Print ISBNs91-7105-142-2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-10-06
Time: 10:00
Place: Blue Hall, Ecology Building

External reviewer(s)

Name: Leimar, Olof
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: Associate Professor, Stockholm University


The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical ecology (Closed 2011) (011006011), Department of Ecology (Closed 2011) (011006010)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ecology


  • Clutch evolution
  • Arms race
  • Idothea baltica
  • Evolutionary conflicts
  • Sexual conflicts
  • Parent-offspring
  • Endosperm
  • Ecology
  • Ekologi


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