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Sample records for age sex ratio

  1. Bayesian Reconstruction of Two-Sex Populations by Age: Estimating Sex Ratios at Birth and Sex Ratios of Mortality1

    PubMed Central

    Wheldon, Mark C.; Raftery, Adrian E.; Clark, Samuel J.; Gerland, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Summary The original version of Bayesian reconstruction, a method for estimating age-specific fertility, mortality, migration and population counts of the recent past with uncertainty, produced estimates for female-only populations. Here we show how two-sex populations can be similarly reconstructed and probabilistic estimates of various sex ratio quantities obtained. We demonstrate the method by reconstructing the populations of India from 1971 to 2001, Thailand from 1960 to 2000, and Laos from 1985 to 2005. We found evidence that in India, sex ratio at birth exceeded its conventional upper limit of 1.06, and, further, increased over the period of study, with posterior probability above 0.9. In addition, almost uniquely, we found evidence that life expectancy at birth (e0) was lower for females than for males in India (posterior probability for 1971–1976 equal to 0.79), although there was strong evidence for a narrowing of the gap through to 2001. In both Thailand and Laos, we found strong evidence for the more usual result that e0 was greater for females and, in Thailand, that the difference increased over the period of study. PMID:26612972

  2. Age at marriage, sex-ratios, and ethnic heterogamy.

    PubMed

    Stier, H; Shavit, Y

    1994-05-01

    "This paper focuses on the effects of age at marriage and the sex-ratio on patterns of ethnic homogamy among Israeli women. We hypothesize that later marriages are more likely than early marriages to be heterogamous as the 'marriage market' shifts from school to the work-place. By the same token, when facing severe marriage squeezes women will be forced to out-marry. Employing data from the 1983 census, we model mate selection of women from Afro-Asian and Euro-American origin in various birth-cohorts. The results do not fully support our hypotheses: we find that in and of itself, age at marriage does not enhance ethnic heterogamy."

  3. Sex ratio of equine offspring is affected by the ages of the mare and stallion.

    PubMed

    Santos, Marianna Machado; Maia, Leonardo Lara; Nobre, Daniel Magalhães; Oliveira Neto, José Ferraz; Garcia, Tiago Rezende; Lage, Maria Coeli Gomes Reis; de Melo, Maria Isabel Vaz; Viana, Walmir Santos; Palhares, Maristela Silveira; da Silva Filho, José Monteiro; Santos, Renato Lima; Valle, Guilherme Ribeiro

    2015-10-15

    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of parental age on the sex ratio of offspring in horses. Two trials were performed. In the first trial, the data from a randomly obtained population with a 1:1 sex ratio of 59,950 Mangalarga Marchador horses born in Brazil from 1990 to 2011 were analyzed. The sex ratios of the offspring were compared among groups according to the mare and the stallion ages (from 3 to 25 years). In the first step of the analysis, the mares and stallions were grouped according to age in 5-year intervals. In the second step, the groups were based on the parental age gap at conception. In the third step, the group of the mares and stallions with similar ages from the second step was subdivided, and the different parental age subgroups that were divided into 5-year intervals were compared. In the fourth step, the sex ratio of the offspring was determined according to the ages of the mares and the stallions at conception. The second trial was based on the data from 253 horses of several breeds that were born after natural gestation into a herd from 1989 to 2010, and the offspring of groups that were younger or older than 15 years were compared. The data from both trials were analyzed using a chi-square test (P ≤ 0.01 for the first trial; and P ≤ 0.05 for the second trial) for the comparisons of the sex ratios. In the first trial, the Spearman test (P ≤ 0.01) was used to verify the correlations between the parental age and the offspring sex ratio. In the first trial, the offspring sex ratio decreased as the mare or stallion age increased, and the decrease was more marked for the mares than for the stallions. In the second trial, the mares older than 15 years had more fillies than the younger mares, but the stallion age had no effect on the sex of the offspring. The first trial, with a large number of horses, revealed the pattern of the distribution of the sex ratios of offspring according to the parental age in horses, whereas the

  4. Age and Sex Ratios in a High-Density Wild Red-Legged Partridge Population

    PubMed Central

    Nadal, Jesús; Ponz, Carolina; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of a wild red-legged partridge population were examined over a 14-year period in Spain to identify patterns in age and sex ratios in relation to weather parameters, and to assess the importance of these parameters in population dynamics and management. The results gave age ratios of 1.07 (but 2.13 in July counts), juvenile sex ratios of 1.01 and adult sex ratios of 1.47. Overall, 12% more females were hatched and female juvenile mortality was 7.3% higher than in males. Sex differential mortality explains the 19.2% deficit in adult females, which are more heavily predated than males during the breeding period. Accordingly, age ratios are dependent on sex ratios and both are density dependent. Over time, ratios and density changes appear to be influenced by weather and management. When the habitat is well conserved, partridge population dynamics can be explained by a causal chain: weather operates on net primary production, thereby affecting partridge reproduction and predation and, as a result, age and sex ratios in the October population. A reduction in the impact of predation (i.e. the effects of ground predators on eggs, chicks and breeding females) is the key factor to improve the conservation of partridge populations and associated biological processes. PMID:27508503

  5. Age and Sex Ratios in a High-Density Wild Red-Legged Partridge Population.

    PubMed

    Nadal, Jesús; Ponz, Carolina; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of a wild red-legged partridge population were examined over a 14-year period in Spain to identify patterns in age and sex ratios in relation to weather parameters, and to assess the importance of these parameters in population dynamics and management. The results gave age ratios of 1.07 (but 2.13 in July counts), juvenile sex ratios of 1.01 and adult sex ratios of 1.47. Overall, 12% more females were hatched and female juvenile mortality was 7.3% higher than in males. Sex differential mortality explains the 19.2% deficit in adult females, which are more heavily predated than males during the breeding period. Accordingly, age ratios are dependent on sex ratios and both are density dependent. Over time, ratios and density changes appear to be influenced by weather and management. When the habitat is well conserved, partridge population dynamics can be explained by a causal chain: weather operates on net primary production, thereby affecting partridge reproduction and predation and, as a result, age and sex ratios in the October population. A reduction in the impact of predation (i.e. the effects of ground predators on eggs, chicks and breeding females) is the key factor to improve the conservation of partridge populations and associated biological processes. PMID:27508503

  6. Large-scale age-dependent skewed sex ratio in a sexually dimorphic avian scavenger.

    PubMed

    Lambertucci, Sergio A; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed.

  7. Large-Scale Age-Dependent Skewed Sex Ratio in a Sexually Dimorphic Avian Scavenger

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488

  8. Large-scale age-dependent skewed sex ratio in a sexually dimorphic avian scavenger.

    PubMed

    Lambertucci, Sergio A; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488

  9. Sex ratio at reproductive age: changes over the last century in the Italian population.

    PubMed

    Ulizzi, L; Astolfi, P; Zonta, L A

    2001-02-01

    The radical improvement in living conditions experienced in Italy during the last century caused a reduction in male extra-mortality during the prereproductive years. As a consequence, a progressive increase in the sex ratio at the beginning of the reproductive age (15-19 years) occurred, so that in recent times the sex ratio in the young adult population has approached the almost constant value of 1.06 observed at birth. We calculated that the sex composition would be the same in newborns and in young adults in about one generation: obviously, we have to assume that the sex differentials in mortality and migration are constant over time. The 1:1 equilibrium between sexes, which maximizes reproductive success, occurred in the 15-19 age group at the beginning of the century and shifted to the 30-35 age group in the 1990s. We compared the 1993-1995 sex ratios in different age groups in European Union countries and observed that in Italy as well as in other Mediterranean countries the numerical equality between sexes is reached at 30-35 years of age, while in north-central Europe it is reached later, approximately at the end of reproductive life.

  10. Offspring sex ratio in red-winged blackbirds is dependent on maternal age.

    PubMed

    Blank, J L; Nolan, V

    1983-10-01

    In a marsh-breeding population of red-winged blackbirds, the sex ratio of offspring that survived to leave the nest varied with maternal age. Old mothers produced an excess of male fledglings, middle-aged mothers produced almost equal proportions of males and females, and young mothers produced nearly twice as many females as males. More males than females hatched from the eggs of old mothers, whereas among newly hatched progeny of middle-aged and young mothers the sex ratio did not differ from unity. The hatching rate of eggs of old mothers was unusually low, suggesting that the biased sex ratio of their hatchlings may have been caused by more frequent death of female embryos, although other possibilities can be imagined. Starvation of nestlings after hatching also affected the sex ratio among young that left the nest. When starvation occurred, it fell principally on young produced by the last and next-to-last eggs laid in the clutch. Because old mothers allocated relatively more energy to those eggs than to earlier-laid eggs, whereas young mothers apportioned energy equally to their eggs, few nestlings of old mothers but many nestlings of young mothers starved. Most nestlings that died were male. It followed that the male bias in sex ratio of progeny of old mothers did not change between hatching and nestleaving, but the ratio among progeny of young mothers shifted after hatching to a strong bias favoring females at nest-leaving.

  11. Does breeding population trajectory and age of nesting females influence disparate nestling sex ratios in two populations of Cooper's hawks?

    PubMed

    Rosenfield, Robert N; Stout, William E; Giovanni, Matthew D; Levine, Noah H; Cava, Jenna A; Hardin, Madeline G; Haynes, Taylor G

    2015-09-01

    Offspring sex ratios at the termination of parental care should theoretically be skewed toward the less expensive sex, which in most avian species would be females, the smaller gender. Among birds, however, raptors offer an unusual dynamic because they exhibit reversed size dimorphism with females being larger than males. And thus theory would predict a preponderance of male offspring. Results for raptors and birds in general have been varied although population-level estimates of sex ratios in avian offspring are generally at unity. Adaptive adjustment of sex ratios in avian offspring is difficult to predict perhaps in part due to a lack of life-history details and short-term investigations that cannot account for precision or repeatability of sex ratios across time. We conducted a novel comparative study of sex ratios in nestling Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) in two study populations across breeding generations during 11 years in Wisconsin, 2001-2011. One breeding population recently colonized metropolitan Milwaukee and exhibited rapidly increasing population growth, while the ex-Milwaukee breeding population was stable. Following life-history trade-off theory and our prediction regarding this socially monogamous species in which reversed sexual size dimorphism is extreme, first-time breeding one-year-old, second-year females in both study populations produced a preponderance of the smaller and cheaper sex, males, whereas ASY (after-second-year), ≥2-year-old females in Milwaukee produced a nestling sex ratio near unity and predictably therefore a greater proportion of females compared to ASY females in ex-Milwaukee who produced a preponderance of males. Adjustment of sex ratios in both study populations occurred at conception. Life histories and selective pressures related to breeding population trajectory in two age cohorts of nesting female Cooper's hawk likely vary, and it is possible that these differences influenced the sex ratios we documented for

  12. Does breeding population trajectory and age of nesting females influence disparate nestling sex ratios in two populations of Cooper's hawks?

    PubMed

    Rosenfield, Robert N; Stout, William E; Giovanni, Matthew D; Levine, Noah H; Cava, Jenna A; Hardin, Madeline G; Haynes, Taylor G

    2015-09-01

    Offspring sex ratios at the termination of parental care should theoretically be skewed toward the less expensive sex, which in most avian species would be females, the smaller gender. Among birds, however, raptors offer an unusual dynamic because they exhibit reversed size dimorphism with females being larger than males. And thus theory would predict a preponderance of male offspring. Results for raptors and birds in general have been varied although population-level estimates of sex ratios in avian offspring are generally at unity. Adaptive adjustment of sex ratios in avian offspring is difficult to predict perhaps in part due to a lack of life-history details and short-term investigations that cannot account for precision or repeatability of sex ratios across time. We conducted a novel comparative study of sex ratios in nestling Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) in two study populations across breeding generations during 11 years in Wisconsin, 2001-2011. One breeding population recently colonized metropolitan Milwaukee and exhibited rapidly increasing population growth, while the ex-Milwaukee breeding population was stable. Following life-history trade-off theory and our prediction regarding this socially monogamous species in which reversed sexual size dimorphism is extreme, first-time breeding one-year-old, second-year females in both study populations produced a preponderance of the smaller and cheaper sex, males, whereas ASY (after-second-year), ≥2-year-old females in Milwaukee produced a nestling sex ratio near unity and predictably therefore a greater proportion of females compared to ASY females in ex-Milwaukee who produced a preponderance of males. Adjustment of sex ratios in both study populations occurred at conception. Life histories and selective pressures related to breeding population trajectory in two age cohorts of nesting female Cooper's hawk likely vary, and it is possible that these differences influenced the sex ratios we documented for

  13. Sex ratio of congenital abnormalities in the function of maternal age: a population-based study.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Gyula; Urbán, Robert; Czeizel, Andrew E; Veszprémi, Béla

    2015-05-01

    Maternal age effect is well-known in the origin of numerical chromosomal aberrations and some isolated congenital abnormalities (CAs). The sex ratio (SR), i.e. number of males divided by the number of males and females together, of most CAs deviates from the SR of newborn population (0.51). The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the possible association of maternal age with the SR of isolated CAs in a population-based large dataset of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996. First, SR of 24 CA entities/groups was estimated in 21,494 patients with isolated CA. In the next step SR of different maternal age groups was compared to the mean SR of the given CA-groups. The SR of four CA-groups showed some deviation in certain maternal age groups. Cases with anencephaly had female excess in young mothers (<25 years). Cases with skull's CAs particularly craniosynostosis had a male excess in cases born to women over 30 years. Two other CA groups (cleft lip ± palate and valvar pulmonic stenosis within the group of right-sided obstructive defect of heart) had significant deviation in SR of certain maternal age groups from the mean SR, but these deviations were not harmonized with joining age groups and thus were considered as a chance effect due to multiple testing. In conclusion, our study did not suggest that in general SR of isolated CAs might be modified by certain maternal age groups with some exception such as anencephaly and craniosynostosis.

  14. Sex ratio of congenital abnormalities in the function of maternal age: a population-based study.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Gyula; Urbán, Robert; Czeizel, Andrew E; Veszprémi, Béla

    2015-05-01

    Maternal age effect is well-known in the origin of numerical chromosomal aberrations and some isolated congenital abnormalities (CAs). The sex ratio (SR), i.e. number of males divided by the number of males and females together, of most CAs deviates from the SR of newborn population (0.51). The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the possible association of maternal age with the SR of isolated CAs in a population-based large dataset of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996. First, SR of 24 CA entities/groups was estimated in 21,494 patients with isolated CA. In the next step SR of different maternal age groups was compared to the mean SR of the given CA-groups. The SR of four CA-groups showed some deviation in certain maternal age groups. Cases with anencephaly had female excess in young mothers (<25 years). Cases with skull's CAs particularly craniosynostosis had a male excess in cases born to women over 30 years. Two other CA groups (cleft lip ± palate and valvar pulmonic stenosis within the group of right-sided obstructive defect of heart) had significant deviation in SR of certain maternal age groups from the mean SR, but these deviations were not harmonized with joining age groups and thus were considered as a chance effect due to multiple testing. In conclusion, our study did not suggest that in general SR of isolated CAs might be modified by certain maternal age groups with some exception such as anencephaly and craniosynostosis. PMID:25354028

  15. The dissimilar costs of love and war: age-specific mortality as a function of the operational sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Adler, M I; Bonduriansky, R

    2011-06-01

    Lifespan and ageing are strongly affected by many environmental factors, but the effects of social environment on these life-history traits are not well understood. We examined effects of social interaction on age-specific mortality rate in the sexually dimorphic neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis. We found that although interaction with other individuals reduced longevity of both sexes, the costs associated with variation in operational sex ratio were sex specific: males' early-life mortality rate increased, and lifespan decreased, with increasing male bias in the sex ratio, whereas surprisingly, the presence of males had no effect on early-life mortality or lifespan of females. Intriguingly, early-life (immediate) mortality costs did not covary with late-life (latent) costs. Rather, both sexes aged most rapidly in a social environment dominated by the opposite sex. Our findings suggest that distinct reproductive activities, such as mating and fighting, impose different age-specific patterns of mortality, and that such costs are strongly sex specific.

  16. Auger electron spectroscopy for the determination of sex and age related Ca/P ratio at different bone sites

    SciTech Connect

    Balatsoukas, Ioannis; Kourkoumelis, Nikolaos; Tzaphlidou, Margaret

    2010-10-15

    The Ca/P ratio of normal cortical and trabecular rat bone was measured by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). Semiquantitative analysis was carried out using ratio techniques to draw conclusions on how age, sex and bone site affect the relative composition of calcium and phosphorus. Results show that Ca/P ratio is not sex dependent; quite the opposite, bone sites exhibit variations in elemental stoichiometry where femoral sections demonstrate higher Ca/P ratio than rear and front tibias. Age-related changes are more distinct for cortical bone in comparison with the trabecular bone. The latter's Ca/P ratio remains unaffected from all the parameters under study. This study confirms that AES is able to successfully quantify bone mineral main elements when certain critical points, related to the experimental conditions, are addressed effectively.

  17. Variance in age-specific sex composition of Pacific halibut catches, and comparison of statistical and genetic methods for reconstructing sex ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loher, Timothy; Woods, Monica A.; Jimenez-Hidalgo, Isadora; Hauser, Lorenz

    2016-01-01

    Declines in size at age of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis, in concert with sexually-dimorphic growth and a constant minimum commercial size limit, have led to the expectation that the sex composition of commercial catches should be increasingly female-biased. Sensitivity analyses suggest that variance in sex composition of landings may be the most influential source of uncertainty affecting current understanding of spawning stock biomass. However, there is no reliable way to determine sex at landing because all halibut are eviscerated at sea. In 2014, a statistical method based on survey data was developed to estimate the probability that fish of any given length at age (LAA) would be female, derived from the fundamental observation that large, young fish are likely female whereas small, old fish have a high probability of being male. Here, we examine variability in age-specific sex composition using at-sea commercial and closed-season survey catches, and compare the accuracy of the survey-based LAA technique to genetic markers for reconstructing the sex composition of catches. Sexing by LAA performed best for summer-collected samples, consistent with the hypothesis that the ability to characterize catches can be influenced by seasonal demographic shifts. Additionally, differences between survey and commercial selectivity that allow fishers to harvest larger fish within cohorts may generate important mismatch between survey and commercial datasets. Length-at-age-based estimates ranged from 4.7% underestimation of female proportion to 12.0% overestimation, with mean error of 5.8 ± 1.5%. Ratios determined by genetics were closer to true sample proportions and displayed less variability; estimation to within < 1% of true ratios was limited to genetics. Genetic estimation of female proportions ranged from 4.9% underestimation to 2.5% overestimation, with a mean absolute error of 1.2 ± 1.2%. Males were generally more difficult to assign than females: 6.7% of

  18. The relationship between paternal age, sex ratios, and aneuploidy frequencies in human sperm, as assessed by multicolor FISH

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.H.; Spriggs, E. |; Ko, E.

    1995-12-01

    We studied the frequencies of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, diploidy and disomy for chromosomes 1, 12, X, and Y in sperm from 10 normal men aged 21 - 52 years, to determine whether there was any relationship between donor age and any of these variables. Multicolor FISH was used to control for lack of probe hybridization and to distinguish diploid sperm from disomic sperm. A minimum of 10,000 sperm per donor was evaluated for each chromosome, for a total of 225,846 sperm studied. Sperm were considered disomic if two fluorescent signals were separated by a minimal distance of one signal domain. The mean frequencies of X- and Y-bearing sperm were 50.1% and 49.0%, respectively; not significantly different from 50%. There was no correlation between paternal age and {open_quotes}sex ratio {close_quotes} in sperm. Similarly, there was no association between the frequency of diploid sperm (mean, .16%; range, .06%-.42%) and donor age. For disomy frequencies, there was no relationship between donor age and disomy 12 (mean, .16%; range, .10%-.25%), XX (mean, .07%; range, .03%-.17%), and XY sperm (mean, .16%; range, .08%-.24%). There was a significant increase in the frequency of YY sperm (P = .04; mean, .18%; range, .10%-.43%) and disomy 1 sperm (P = .01; mean, .11%; range, .05%-.18%) with donor age. In summary, our results do not support a correlation between paternal age and sex ratio or diploidy. A relationship between paternal age and disomy was observed for disomy 1 and YY sperm but not for disomy 12, XX or XY sperm. 37 refs., 3 tabs.

  19. Age at sexual maturity, sex ratio, fecundity, and longevity of isolated headwater populations of Westslope cutthroat trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Downs, Christopher C.; White, R.G.; Shepard, B.B.

    1997-01-01

    We sampled 19 isolated headwater populations of westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi in Montana to provide estimates of fecundity, longevity, sex ratio, and age at sexual maturity. Fecundity was estimated for 31 fish collected from two streams in the upper Missouri River drainage. Females smaller than 149 mm fork length (FL) were generally immature and their fecundities could not be estimated. Mean fecundities (SD) were 227 eggs (41.1) for 150-174-mm fish, 346 eggs (85.6) for 175-199-mm fish, and 459 eggs (150.8) for 200-mm and larger fish. A linear regression model (two stream samples combined) to predict fecundity (E) from fork length was developed (E = -494.9 + 4.4.FL: r2 = 0.51, P < 0.001) for westslope cutthroat trout in the upper Missouri River drainage. Regression slopes of fecundity against fish length differed significantly (P < 0.01) between these and some of the previously studied populations. Steeper slopes were associated with lacustrine-adfluvial populations. The average sex ratio was 1.3 males per female across all sampled streams. Males began to mature sexually at age 2 and all were mature by age 4. Some females (27%) were sexually mature at age 3 and most of them (93%) were mature by age 5. Length was a better predictor of sexual maturity than age. Males matured at 110-160 mm and females at 150-180 mm FL. The maximum estimated age was 8 years based on otoliths from 475 fish collected from our 19 study streams and 14 additional streams.

  20. Growth, age at metamorphosis, and sex ratio of northern brook lamprey in a tributary of southern Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Purvis, Harold A.

    1970-01-01

    Growth was studied of five year classes of the northern brook lamprey, Ichthyomyzon fossor, collected from the Sturgeon River during intervals between treatment of the stream with a lampricide. Growth varied considerably among year classes. Larvae of the 1963 year class were slightly longer at age II and 30% longer at age III than the III-group larvae of the 1960 year class. About 6% of 558 III-group lampreys of the 1963 year class had metamorphosed by 17 August 1966. Although the sex ratio of larvae was about 1:1, 97% of the metamorphosed lampreys were males. The distribution of pigmentation on the caudal fin and upper lip in ammocoetes less than 40 mm long permitted accurate and rapid separation of northern brook lampreys from the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus.

  1. On the variability of alligator sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Chabreck, R.H.

    1980-01-01

    Samples of alligators from wild and 'farm' populations exhibited disproportionate sex ratios. Males predominated among young alligators from wild populations, whereas females were much more abundant than males in the farm population, where resources were superabundant. These results and other considerations lead us to hypothesize that environmental factors influence sex determination in alligators. During favorable environmental conditions natural selection is expected to favor a preponderance of the sex whose individuals exhibit the greater environmentally associated variation in relative fitness. We hypothesize that environmentally associated variation in age at sexual maturity of females produces sufficient variation in relative fitness of females to result in selection for low sex ratios during periods of resource abundance.

  2. Sex ratios in pheasant research and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dale, F.H.

    1952-01-01

    Sex ratios are of primary importance in interpretation of extensive studies of pheasant populations. They are necessary for converting crowing-cock indices to population estimates even where annual trends are to be studied in the same area. Reliability of population estimates from hunting season kill of pheasants suffers primarily from inability to estimate sex ratios accurately. Fall sex ratio is an index to production and where adult sex ratios are divergent can serve as a good check on production per hen. Age ratios of cocks cannot be interpreted directly as an index of productivity, even within the boundaries of one state, unless adult sex ratios are known. The relationship between observed and actual sex ratio varies significantly from season to season and according to the method of observation. In view of their importance in population studies and the lack of reliability of present methods, it is believed that intensive studies on techniques for obtaining sex ratios are a major need in pheasant research.

  3. Inbreeding and parasite sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Nee, Sean; West, Stuart A; Read, Andrew F

    2002-04-01

    The breeding system of parasitic protozoa affects the evolution of drug resistance and virulence, and is relevant to disease diagnosis and the development of chemo- and immunotherapy. A major group of protozoan parasites, the phylum Apicomplexa, that includes the aetiological agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis and coccidiosis, all have dimorphic sexual stages. The sex ratio (proportion of males produced by parasites) is predicted to depend upon the inbreeding rate, and it has been suggested that sex-ratio data offer a relatively cheap and easy method for indirectly estimating inbreeding rates. Here, we exploit a new theoretical machinery to show that there are generally valid relationships between f, Wright's coefficient of inbreeding, and sex ratio, z(*), the generality being with respect to population structure. To focus the discussion, we concentrate on malaria and show that the previously derived result, f = 1 - 2z(*), does not depend on the artificial assumptions about population structure that were previously made. Not only does this justify the use of sex ratio as an indirect measure of f, but also we argue that it may actually be preferable to measure f by measuring sex ratios, rather than by measuring departures from Hardy-Weinberg genotypic proportions both in malaria and parasites more generally. PMID:11934369

  4. Sex ratio of China's population deserves attention.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Y; Tu, P; Gu, B; Xu, Y; Li, B; Li, Y

    1992-12-01

    A paper on the sex ratio at birth in China was presented at the international seminar on China's 1990 population census held during October 19-23, 1992 in Beijing. The normal sex ratio at birth is 106 male births/100 female births, which was the ratio in China in the 1960s and 1970s. However, in 1981 it increased to 108.5, then to 110.9 in 1986, to 111.0 in 1987, and to 113.8 in 1989. The sex ratios at ages 0-4 years were 107.0 in 1953, 106.2 in 1964, 107.1 in 1982, and 110.2 in 1990. The sex ratio at birth in 1989 was 105 for 1st parity births, but reached 120.9, 124.6, and 131.7 for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and higher parity births, respectively. The analysis of data from the 1990 National Census, the 1987 One Percent Population Sample Survey, and the 1988 Two-Per-Thousand Population Sampling Survey revealed that a serious underreporting of female births and increased illegal prenatal sex identification were the most important causes of the increase in the sex ratio at birth. The sex differential in underreporting births accounted for at least 42.6-51.3% of the difference between the normal value of 106 and the actual sex ratio at birth reported in the 1990 census. Data from the 1988 Two-Per-Thousand Population Sampling Survey showed that rate of underreporting of female births twice exceeded that of male births in the years between 1983 and 1988. The underreporting accounted for 54-88% of the difference between the normal value and the reported sex ratios. A great number of B ultrasonic scanning machines were introduced after 1982 in clinics and family planning service stations. Although they are not meant for nonmedical purposes, enforcement of rules is difficult in view of the preference for sons. Medical records of 1,243,284 pregnancies surveyed for birth defects at 945 hospitals indicated sex ratios of 108.0, 108.3, 109.1, and 109.7 in 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991, respectively. Underreporting rather than female infanticide is probably the main cause of these increasing

  5. [[A study on sex ratio variation in Korea

    PubMed

    Baeg, K S; Lee, S B

    1989-12-01

    "The purpose of this study is to find out the trend of sex ratio variation in [the Republic of] Korea. The data...were derived from the government publications including the Population and Housing Census Reports covering the period of 1960-1985 and the Korea Urbanic Year Book, 1985. The major findings of the study are summarized as follows: The average sex ratio in all age groups is 100.17-101.44 from 1960 through 1980. Sex ratio imbalance was most severe in 1960 due to the Korean War." Sex ratios are compared among urban and rural areas and for industrialized and agricultural areas. (SUMMARY IN ENG)

  6. Sustainable sex ratio in lattice populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tainaka, K.; Hayashi, T.; Yoshimura, J.

    2006-05-01

    We present a lattice model of mating populations. Simulation is performed by two different methods: local and global interactions. Simulation results account for the reason why the observed sex ratio is nearly one half in many animals. The male-biased sex ratio, such as in human populations, is also explained.

  7. Sex-ratio patterns of AIDS patients in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Rerks-Ngarm, S

    1997-01-01

    The summary report of AIDS cases in Thailand, as of 31 July 1996, was reviewed for the information on male-to female sex-ratio. The ratios were recalculated for different risk-factors and for different age-groups annually and cumulatively. The male-to-female ratios calculated for annual case reports are lower than the cumulative number. This finding demonstrates the earlier detection of change in risk behaviour among the general population by the sex-ratio from annual case reports, compared to the ratio from the cumulative number of cases. Among different age-groups, the older age shows the highest male-to-female ratio. The ratio among sexually active age-group (15-49 years of age) is declining during the most recent year. These changes confirm the present pattern of AIDS epidemic in Thailand, the fourth wave among females, followed by the last wave-pediatric AIDS.

  8. A snail with unbiased population sex ratios but highly biased brood sex ratios.

    PubMed Central

    Yusa, Yoichi; Suzuki, Yoshito

    2003-01-01

    Extraordinary sex ratio patterns and the underlying sex-determining mechanisms in various organisms are worth investigating, particularly because they shed light on adaptive sex-ratio adjustment. Here, we report an extremely large variation in the brood sex ratio in the freshwater snail, Pomacea canaliculata. In eight rearing series originating from three wild populations, sex ratios were highly variable among broods, ranging continuously from almost exclusively males to almost exclusively females. However, sex ratios were similar between broods from the same mating pair, indicating that sex ratio is a family trait. Irrespective of the large variations, the average sex ratios in all rearing series were not significantly different from 0.5. We argue that Fisher's adaptive sex-ratio theory can explain the equal average sex ratios, and the results, in turn, directly support Fisher's theory. Polyfactorial sex determination (in which sex is determined by three or more genetic factors) is suggested as the most likely mechanism producing the variable brood sex ratio. PMID:12614578

  9. Age, growth, sex ratio, and maturity of the whitefish in central Green Bay and adjacent waters of Lake Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mraz, Donald

    1964-01-01

    This study is based on 1,023 whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill)--819 in seven samples from five localitites in central Green Bay in 1948-49 and 1851-52 and 204 in a single 1948 collection from northwestern Lake Michigan proper. Records of age indicated unusual strength for only one year class--1943 which strongly dominated the 1948 sample from Lake Michigan and the 1949 sample from Green Bay and was well represented in the 1948 collection from green Bay. Collection of 1951-52 without exception were dominated by age group III. Length distributions of samples varied widely according to the age composition. Among fish more than 2 years old, the length distributions of age groups overlapped broadly. Several 1-inch intervals included fish of four age groups. The length-weight relation varied considerably among central Green Bay samples, but differences among localitites were nearly equalled by the year-to-year difference at a single locality. Lake Michigan whitefish were generally lighter than those from Green Bay. Weight increased to the 3.386 power of length in Green Bay (combined samples) and the 3.359 power in Lake Michigan. Growth in length, calculated by direct proportion from diameter measurements of growth fields on scales, differed among localities in central Green Bay and between samples of different years at a single locality. If permanent locality differences exist they are not large and can be obscured by the evident annual fluctuations of growth. The grand average calculated length of Green Bay whitefish (combined collections) exceeded that of Lake Michigan fish in all years of life. The advantage was greatest (2.2 inches) at 3 years (calculated lengths of 16.0 inches and 13.8 inches) and subsequently declined to 0.5 inch at 9 years (lengths of 24.6 and 24.1 inches). Both groups reached the minimum legal length of 17 inches during the fourth growing season. Green Bay whitefish also had the larger calculated weights. The advantage reached 9

  10. Sex ratio of sea turtles: seasonal changes.

    PubMed

    Mrosovsky, N; Hopkins-Murphy, S R; Richardson, J I

    1984-08-17

    Sex ratios of hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta taken from South Carolina and Georgia ranged from no females in nests laid in late May to 80 percent females in those laid in early July; the sex ratio decreased to 10 percent females in nests laid in early August. These seasonal changes are consistent with the role of temperature in directing sexual differentiation in various reptiles. The data have implications for understanding the demography of sea turtles and for their conservation.

  11. Sex ratios in fetuses and liveborn infants with autosomal aneuploidy

    SciTech Connect

    Heuther, C.A.; Martin, R.L.M.; Stoppelman, S.M.

    1996-06-14

    Ten data sources were used substantially to increase the available data for estimating fetal and livebirth sex ratios for Patau (trisomy 13), Edwards (trisomy 18), and Down (trisomy 21) syndromes and controls. The fetal sex ratio estimate was 0.88 (N = 584) for trisomy 13, 0.90 (N = 1702) for trisomy 18, and 1.16 (N = 3154) for trisomy 21. All were significantly different from prenatal controls (1.07). The estimated ratios in prenatal controls were 1.28 (N = 1409) for CVSs and 1.06 (N = 49427) for amniocenteses, indicating a clear differential selection against males, mostly during the first half of fetal development. By contrast, there were no sex ratio differences for any of the trisomies when comparing gestational ages <16 and >16 weeks. The livebirth sex ratio estimate was 0.90 (N = 293) for trisomy 13, 0.63 (N = 497) for trisomy 18, and 1.15 (N = 6424) for trisomy 21, the latter two being statistically different than controls (1.05) (N = 3660707). These ratios for trisomies 13 and 18 were also statistically different than the ratio for trisomy 21. Only in trisomy 18 did the sex ratios in fetuses and livebirths differ, indicating a prenatal selection against males >16 weeks. No effects of maternal age or race were found on these estimates for any of the fetal or livebirth trisomies. Sex ratios for translocations and mosaics were also estimated for these aneuploids. Compared to previous estimates, these results are less extreme, most likely because of larger sample sizes and less sample bias. They support the hypothesis that these trisomy sex ratios are skewed at conception, or become so during embryonic development through differential intrauterine selection. The estimate for Down syndrome livebirths is also consistent with the hypothesis that its higher sex ratio is associated with paternal nondisjunction. 36 refs., 5 tabs.

  12. The age, growth, sexual maturity, and sex ratio of the common whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill), of Lake Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Oosten, John

    1939-01-01

    During five years (1939-43) of nutritional research on pen-reared bobwhite quail at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Bowie, Maryland, observations on picking among birds of all ages showed the following results: 1. Picking occurred on all grains tested: corn, wheat, oats, oat groats, barley, millet, buckwheat, kaffir, and mixtures of cereals. The lowest incidence was with buckwheat as the sole grain in a growing diet....2. Picking occurred on all levels of fiber from one to 11per cent in a growing diet....3. Picking occurred on various grinds of corn, barley, and oats, but was least when these cereals were ground in a hammer mill with 3/32 inch mesh screen....4. The incidence was as high on diets containing animal protein as on those containing no animal protein. ....5. After picking began, the addition of one or two per cent of salt to the diet for several days was effective, in many instances, in checking the disorder. Results at the Refuge and the answers to questionnaires from 222 private propagators of gamebirds showed that in two-thirds. of the cases, treatment with an increased quantity of salt successfully stopped the trouble. As a preventative, however, salt was of little value. Picking occurred on both low and high levels of salt.....6. Supplementing the regular diet with certain feed concentrates such as fishmeal, soybean oil meal, liver meal, or chopped greens offered in a separate feeder for a day or two, was as efficacious as the addition of salt.....7. More picking occurred among quail chicks on a 22 per cent level of protein than on higher levels.....8. There was less picking on diets relished by the birds than on those seemingly unpalatable.....9. There was no correlation. between the amount of floor space per chick and the incidence of picking.....10. Increasing the feeding and drinking space seemed to have a marked beneficial effect.....11. Some adult birds on wire floors resorted to self-picking of their feet after the toes were frost-bitten.

  13. The sex ratio of Plasmodium gametocytes.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1989-06-01

    Sex ratio theory usually predicts an equilibrium sex ratio and equal proportions of males and females in a population, including the progenitors of the reproductive cells of protozoans. This proposal was tested with three species of malarial parasites of lizards, Plasmodium mexicanum of the western fence lizard, and P. agamae and P. giganteum of the African rainbow lizard, using single samples from naturally infected lizards, repeated samples from free-ranging lizards (P. mexicanum only), and repeated samples from laboratory maintained animals. Macrogametocytes were usually more abundant than microgametocytes, and were slightly larger, revealing a typically greater investment of resources by the progenitors of female reproductive cells. However, the proportion of microgametocytes varied among the three species and among infections within each species of Plasmodium. The sex ratio of gametocytes often remained constant within infections followed over time even if the absolute number of gametocytes was changing. However, the equilibrium sex ratio of gametocytes varied among those infections that had an unchanging microgametocyte proportion. Thus, although an equilibrium sex ratio apparently occurs for most infections, there appears to be no characteristic proportion of microgametocytes for any of the species. Potential explanations for this conflict with theory are presented. PMID:2771445

  14. Kinship Institutions and Sex Ratios in India

    PubMed Central

    CHAKRABORTY, TANIKA; KIM, SUKKOO

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the relationship between kinship institutions and sex ratios in India at the turn of the twentieth century. Because kinship rules vary by caste, language, religion, and region, we construct sex ratios by these categories at the district level by using data from the 1901 Census of India for Punjab (North), Bengal (East), and Madras (South). We find that the male-to-female sex ratio varied positively with caste rank, fell as one moved from the North to the East and then to the South, was higher for Hindus than for Muslims, and was higher for northern Indo-Aryan speakers than for the southern Dravidian-speaking people. We argue that these systematic patterns in the data are consistent with variations in the institution of family, kinship, and inheritance. PMID:21308567

  15. Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Saragusty, Joseph; Hermes, Robert; Hofer, Heribert; Bouts, Tim; Göritz, Frank; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2012-01-01

    Pre-determining fetal sex is against the random and equal opportunity that both conceptus sexes have by nature. Yet, under a wide variety of circumstances, populations shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. Here we show, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, that in a population of pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) with 42.5% male offspring, males bias the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in their ejaculates, resulting in a 0.4337±0.0094 (mean±s.d.) proportion of Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa. Three alternative hypotheses for the shifted population sex ratio were compared: female counteract male, female indifferent, or male and female in agreement. We conclude that there appears little or no antagonistic sexual conflict, unexpected by prevailing theories. Our results indicate that males possess a mechanism to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in the ejaculate, thereby substantially expanding currently known male options in sexual conflict.

  16. Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Saragusty, Joseph; Hermes, Robert; Hofer, Heribert; Bouts, Tim; Göritz, Frank; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2012-01-01

    Pre-determining fetal sex is against the random and equal opportunity that both conceptus sexes have by nature. Yet, under a wide variety of circumstances, populations shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. Here we show, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, that in a population of pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) with 42.5% male offspring, males bias the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in their ejaculates, resulting in a 0.4337±0.0094 (mean±s.d.) proportion of Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa. Three alternative hypotheses for the shifted population sex ratio were compared: female counteract male, female indifferent, or male and female in agreement. We conclude that there appears little or no antagonistic sexual conflict, unexpected by prevailing theories. Our results indicate that males possess a mechanism to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in the ejaculate, thereby substantially expanding currently known male options in sexual conflict. PMID:22426218

  17. Disproportionate sex ratios of wolf pups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    1975-01-01

    Males comprised 66 percent of wild wolf (Canis lupus) pups from a saturated, high-density wolf range in northeastern Minnesota, possibly reflecting disproportionate conception of males. Packs from areas of lower wolf density in other areas of Minnesota had equal sex ratios of pups or a disproportionate number of female pups. Captive wolves showed a slight preponderance of male pups.

  18. Sex differences in cardiovascular ageing.

    PubMed

    Merz, Allison A; Cheng, Susan

    2016-06-01

    Despite recent progress in identifying and narrowing the gaps in cardiovascular outcomes between men and women, general understanding of how and why cardiovascular disease presentations differ between the sexes remains limited. Sex-specific patterns of cardiac and vascular ageing play an important role and, in fact, begin very early in life. Differences between the sexes in patterns of age-related cardiac remodelling are associated with the relatively greater prevalence in women than in men of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Similarly, sex variation in how vascular structure and function change with ageing contributes to differences between men and women in how coronary artery disease manifests typically or atypically over the adult life course. Both hormonal and non-hormonal factors underlie sex differences in cardiovascular ageing and the development of age-related disease. The midlife withdrawal of endogenous oestrogen appears to augment the age-related increase in cardiovascular risk seen in postmenopausal compared with premenopausal women. However, when compared with intrinsic biological differences between men and women that are present throughout life, this menopausal transition may not be as substantial an actor in determining cardiovascular outcomes. PMID:26917537

  19. Sex Ratios at Birth and Environmental Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerchl, Alexander

    The relationship between average monthly air temperature and sex ratios at birth (SRB) was analyzed for children born in Germany during the period 1946-1995. Both the absolute temperature and - more markedly - the monthly temperature deviations from the overall mean were significantly positively correlated with the SRB (P<0.01) when temperatures were time-lagged against the SRB data by -10 or -11months. It is concluded that the sex of the offspring is partially determined by environmental temperatures prior to conception.

  20. Sex ratios at birth after induced abortion

    PubMed Central

    Urquia, Marcelo L.; Moineddin, Rahim; Jha, Prabhat; O’Campo, Patricia J.; McKenzie, Kwame; Glazier, Richard H.; Henry, David A.; Ray, Joel G.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Skewed male:female ratios at birth have been observed among certain immigrant groups. Data on abortion practices that might help to explain these findings are lacking. Methods: We examined 1 220 933 births to women with up to 3 consecutive singleton live births between 1993 and 2012 in Ontario. Records of live births, and induced and spontaneous abortions were linked to Canadian immigration records. We determined associations of male:female infant ratios with maternal birthplace, sex of the previous living sibling(s) and prior spontaneous or induced abortions. Results: Male:female infant ratios did not appreciably depart from the normal range among Canadian-born women and most women born outside of Canada, irrespective of the sex of previous children or the characteristics of prior abortions. However, among infants of women who immigrated from India and had previously given birth to 2 girls, the overall male:female ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75–2.21) for the third live birth. The male:female infant ratio after 2 girls was 1.77 (95% CI 1.26–2.47) times higher if the current birth was preceded by 1 induced abortion, 2.38 (95% CI 1.44–3.94) times higher if preceded by 2 or more induced abortions and 3.88 (95% CI 2.02–7.50) times higher if the induced abortion was performed at 15 weeks or more gestation relative to no preceding abortion. Spontaneous abortions were not associated with male-biased sex ratios in subsequent births. Interpretation: High male:female ratios observed among infants born to women who immigrated from India are associated with induced abortions, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy. PMID:27067818

  1. Inherited structural cytogenetic abnormalities detected incidentally in fetuses diagnosed prenatally: frequency, parental-age associations, sex-ratio trends, and comparisons with rates of mutants.

    PubMed Central

    Hook, E B; Schreinemachers, D M; Willey, A M; Cross, P K

    1984-01-01

    parental age among the inherited abnormalities was noteworthy. Paternal age was elevated for inherited balanced reciprocal structural abnormalities of paternal origin but not of maternal origin. With regard to sex ratio, there was a greater proportion of females than males among the unbalanced rearrangements both inherited and mutant. There was no obvious sex difference among the balanced rearrangements. PMID:6711562

  2. Maternal transmission, sex ratio distortion, and mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Perlman, Steve J.; Hodson, Christina N.; Hamilton, Phineas T.; Opit, George P.; Gowen, Brent E.

    2015-01-01

    In virtually all multicellular eukaryotes, mitochondria are transmitted exclusively through one parent, usually the mother. In this short review, we discuss some of the major consequences of uniparental transmission of mitochondria, including deleterious effects in males and selection for increased transmission through females. Many of these consequences, particularly sex ratio distortion, have well-studied parallels in other maternally transmitted genetic elements, such as bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods. We also discuss the consequences of linkage between mitochondria and other maternally transmitted genetic elements, including the role of cytonuclear incompatibilities in maintaining polymorphism. Finally, as a case study, we discuss a recently discovered maternally transmitted sex ratio distortion in an insect that is associated with extraordinarily divergent mitochondria. PMID:25870270

  3. Maternal transmission, sex ratio distortion, and mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Perlman, Steve J; Hodson, Christina N; Hamilton, Phineas T; Opit, George P; Gowen, Brent E

    2015-08-18

    In virtually all multicellular eukaryotes, mitochondria are transmitted exclusively through one parent, usually the mother. In this short review, we discuss some of the major consequences of uniparental transmission of mitochondria, including deleterious effects in males and selection for increased transmission through females. Many of these consequences, particularly sex ratio distortion, have well-studied parallels in other maternally transmitted genetic elements, such as bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods. We also discuss the consequences of linkage between mitochondria and other maternally transmitted genetic elements, including the role of cytonuclear incompatibilities in maintaining polymorphism. Finally, as a case study, we discuss a recently discovered maternally transmitted sex ratio distortion in an insect that is associated with extraordinarily divergent mitochondria.

  4. Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India

    PubMed Central

    South, Scott J.; Trent, Katherine; Bose, Sunita

    2014-01-01

    Although substantial research has explored the causes of India’s excessively masculine population sex ratio, few studies have examined the consequences of this surplus of males. We merge individual-level data from the 2004–2005 India Human Development Survey with data from the 2001 India population census to examine the association between the district-level male-to-female sex ratio at ages 15 to 39 and self-reports of victimization by theft, breaking and entering, and assault. Multilevel logistic regression analyses reveal positive and statistically significant albeit substantively modest effects of the district-level sex ratio on all three victimization risks. We also find that higher male-to-female sex ratios are associated with the perception that young unmarried women in the local community are frequently harassed. Household-level indicators of family structure, socioeconomic status, and caste, as well as areal indicators of women’s empowerment and collective efficacy, also emerge as significant predictors of self-reported criminal victimization and the perceived harassment of young women. The implications of these findings for India’s growing sex ratio imbalance are discussed. PMID:24682921

  5. Measures to curb rising sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Zhu, H

    1995-08-01

    This article describes the imbalanced sex ratio in Zhejiang province and Wenling City and government programs established to correct the imbalance. The author conducted interviews with some leading officials of the Zhejiang Provincial Family Planning Committee and of the Wenling City Family Planning Committee in the southern area of the province. The sex ratio is described as more imbalanced in areas with less efficient family planning programs. The rising sex ratio occurs unevenly geographically; northern Zhejiang has more balanced ratios. An examination by officials of the underlying causes for the high sex ratios at birth uncovered the misuse of ultrasound scanning in early pregnancy. In Wenling City the Family Planning and Public Health Department maintains strict control of its 51 scanning machines. However, in Yueqing City in Wenzhou Prefecture, which is adjacent to Wenling City, private doctors purchase their own machines. Illegal scanning of fetuses is reported by mothers from Wenling City who visit doctors in Yueqing City. An obstacle to control of misuse of ultrasound scanning to detect the sex of the fetus is the considerable wealth of families who can afford to visit a private doctor. Wenling City has conducted IEC campaigns to inform the public about the importance of valuing boys and girls equally. Information is disseminated through the news media and in county and township schools. Disciplinary sanctions based on local regulations apply to misuse of machines for sex identification. Social insurance programs for the aged are also being provided in the city. Support for social insurance comes from families based on the size of the family and from government revenues. During 1993-95 the sex ratio declined, and the downturn is attributed to the aforementioned measures taken in Wenling City.

  6. Maladaptive sex ratio adjustment by a sex-changing shrimp in selective-fishing environments.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Susumu; Yoshino, Kenji; Kanaiwa, Minoru; Kawajiri, Toshifumi; Goshima, Seiji

    2013-05-01

    1. Selective harvesting is acknowledged as a serious concern in efforts to conserve wild animal populations. In fisheries, most studies have focused on gradual and directional changes in the life-history traits of target species. While such changes represent the ultimate response of harvested animals, it is also well known that the life history of target species plastically alters with harvesting. However, research on the adaptive significance of these types of condition-dependent changes has been limited. 2. We explored the adaptive significance of annual changes in the age at sex-change of the protandrous (male-first) hermaphroditic shrimp and examined how selective harvesting affects life-history variation, by conducting field observations across 13 years and a controlled laboratory experiment. In addition, we considered whether plastic responses by the shrimp would be favourable, negligible or negative with respect to the conservation of fishery resources. 3. The age at sex-change and the population structure of the shrimp fluctuated between years during the study period. The results of the field observations and laboratory experiment both indicated that the shrimp could plastically change the timing of sex-change in accordance with the age structure of the population. These findings provide the first concrete evidence of adult sex ratio adjustment by pandalid shrimp, a group that has been treated as a model in the sex allocation theory. 4. The sex ratio adjustment by the shrimp did not always seem to be sufficient, however, as the supplement of females is restricted by their annual somatic growth rate. In addition, adjusted sex ratios are further skewed by the unintentional female-selectivity of fishing activity prior to the breeding season, indicating that the occurrence of males that have postponed sex-change causes sex ratio adjustment to become unfavourable. 5. We conclude that the plastic responses of harvested animals in selective fishing environments

  7. [[On the change of sex ratio by the Japanese zodiac

    PubMed

    Sakai, H

    1989-04-01

    Changes in the sex ratio in Japan from 1899 to 1986 are analyzed using data from official sources. The emphasis is on differences in the sex ratio according to the signs of the Japanese zodiac. The author notes that although the significance of the zodiac on the sex ratio has been decreasing since the early 1970s, it still has a measurable impact.

  8. Sex hormones and brain aging.

    PubMed

    Veiga, Sergio; Melcangi, Roberto C; Doncarlos, Lydia L; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Azcoitia, Iñigo

    2004-01-01

    Sex steroids exert pleiotropic effects in the nervous system, preserving neural function and promoting neuronal survival. Therefore, the age-related decrease in sex steroids may have a negative impact on neural function. Progesterone, testosterone and estradiol prevent neuronal loss in the central nervous system in different experimental animal models of neurodegeneration. Furthermore, progesterone and its reduced derivatives dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce aging-associated morphological abnormalities of myelin and aging-associated myelin fiber loss in rat peripheral nerves. However, the results from hormone replacement studies in humans are thus far inconclusive. A possible alternative to hormonal replacement therapy is to increase local steroidogenesis by neural tissues, which express enzymes for steroid synthesis and metabolism. Proteins involved in the intramitochondrial trafficking of cholesterol, the first step in steroidogenesis, such as the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor and the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, are up-regulated in the nervous system after injury. Furthermore, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein expression is increased in the brain of 24-month-old rats compared with young adult rats. This suggests that brain steroidogenesis may be modified in adaptation to neurodegenerative conditions and to the brain aging process. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that local formation of estradiol in the brain, by the enzyme aromatase, is neuroprotective. Therefore, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor and aromatase are attractive pharmacological targets to promote neuroprotection in the aged brain. PMID:15582278

  9. The human sex ratio from conception to birth

    PubMed Central

    Orzack, Steven Hecht; Stubblefield, J. William; Akmaev, Viatcheslav R.; Colls, Pere; Munné, Santiago; Scholl, Thomas; Steinsaltz, David; Zuckerman, James E.

    2015-01-01

    We describe the trajectory of the human sex ratio from conception to birth by analyzing data from (i) 3- to 6-d-old embryos, (ii) induced abortions, (iii) chorionic villus sampling, (iv) amniocentesis, and (v) fetal deaths and live births. Our dataset is the most comprehensive and largest ever assembled to estimate the sex ratio at conception and the sex ratio trajectory and is the first, to our knowledge, to include all of these types of data. Our estimate of the sex ratio at conception is 0.5 (proportion male), which contradicts the common claim that the sex ratio at conception is male-biased. The sex ratio among abnormal embryos is male-biased, and the sex ratio among normal embryos is female-biased. These biases are associated with the abnormal/normal state of the sex chromosomes and of chromosomes 15 and 17. The sex ratio may decrease in the first week or so after conception (due to excess male mortality); it then increases for at least 10–15 wk (due to excess female mortality), levels off after ∼20 wk, and declines slowly from 28 to 35 wk (due to excess male mortality). Total female mortality during pregnancy exceeds total male mortality. The unbiased sex ratio at conception, the increase in the sex ratio during the first trimester, and total mortality during pregnancy being greater for females are fundamental insights into early human development. PMID:25825766

  10. Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory.

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios, as found in natural populations. Recently, E.O. Wilson and M.A. Nowak criticized this explanation and presented an alternative hypothesis. The Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis proposes that, in monogynous ants, there is selection for a 1 : 1 numerical sex ratio to avoid males remaining unmated, which, given queens exceed males in size, results in a female-biased sex investment ratio. The hypothesis also asserts that, contrary to inclusive fitness theory, queens not workers control sex allocation and queen-worker conflict over sex allocation is absent. Here, I argue that the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis is flawed because it contradicts Fisher's sex ratio theory, which shows that selection on sex ratio does not maximize the number of mated offspring and that the sex ratio proposed by the hypothesis is not an equilibrium for the queen. In addition, the hypothesis is not supported by empirical evidence, as it fails to explain 'split' (bimodal) sex ratios or data showing queen and worker control and ongoing queen-worker conflict. By contrast, these phenomena match predictions of inclusive fitness theory. Hence, the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis fails both as an alternative hypothesis for sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera and as a critique of inclusive fitness theory.

  11. Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory.

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios, as found in natural populations. Recently, E.O. Wilson and M.A. Nowak criticized this explanation and presented an alternative hypothesis. The Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis proposes that, in monogynous ants, there is selection for a 1 : 1 numerical sex ratio to avoid males remaining unmated, which, given queens exceed males in size, results in a female-biased sex investment ratio. The hypothesis also asserts that, contrary to inclusive fitness theory, queens not workers control sex allocation and queen-worker conflict over sex allocation is absent. Here, I argue that the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis is flawed because it contradicts Fisher's sex ratio theory, which shows that selection on sex ratio does not maximize the number of mated offspring and that the sex ratio proposed by the hypothesis is not an equilibrium for the queen. In addition, the hypothesis is not supported by empirical evidence, as it fails to explain 'split' (bimodal) sex ratios or data showing queen and worker control and ongoing queen-worker conflict. By contrast, these phenomena match predictions of inclusive fitness theory. Hence, the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis fails both as an alternative hypothesis for sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera and as a critique of inclusive fitness theory. PMID:26238365

  12. Preconception maternal polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and the secondary sex ratio

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Kira C.; Jackson, Leila W.; Lynch, Courtney D.; Kostyniak, Paul J.; Buck Louis, Germaine M. . E-mail: louisg@mail.nih.gov

    2007-01-15

    The secondary sex ratio is the ratio of male to female live births and historically has ranged from 102 to 106 males to 100 females. Temporal declines have been reported in many countries prompting authors to hypothesize an environmental etiology. Blood specimens were obtained from 99 women aged 24-34 prior to attempting pregnancy and quantified for 76 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners using dual column gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Women were prospectively followed until pregnancy or 12 cycles of trying. The odds of a male birth for three PCB groupings (total, estrogenic, anti-estrogenic) controlling for maternal characteristics were estimated using logistic regression. Among the 50 women with live births and PCB data, 26 female and 24 male infants were born (ratio 0.92). After adjusting for age and body mass index, odds of a male birth were elevated among women in the second (OR=1.29) and third (OR=1.48) tertiles of estrogenic PCBs; odds (OR=0.70) were reduced among women in the highest tertile of anti-estrogenic PCBs. All confidence intervals included one. The direction of the odds ratios in this preliminary study varied by PCB groupings, supporting the need to study specific PCB patterns when assessing environmental influences on the secondary sex ratio.

  13. Parental care and adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation in birds.

    PubMed Central

    Hasselquist, Dennis; Kempenaers, Bart

    2002-01-01

    Under many circumstances, it might be adaptive for parents to bias the investment in offspring in relation to sex. Recently developed molecular techniques that allow sex determination of newly hatched offspring have caused a surge in studies of avian sex allocation. Whether females bias the primary brood sex ratio in relation to factors such as environmental and parental quality is debated. Progress is hampered because the mechanisms for primary sex ratio manipulation are unknown. Moreover, publication bias against non-significant results may distort our view of adaptive sex ratio manipulation. Despite this, there is recent experimental evidence for adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation in birds. Parental care is a particularly likely candidate to affect the brood sex ratio because it can have strong direct effects on the fitness of both parents and their offspring. We investigate and make predictions of factors that can be important for adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation under different patterns of parental care. We encourage correlational studies based on sufficiently large datasets to ensure high statistical power, studies identifying and experimentally altering factors with sex-differential fitness effects that may cause brood sex ratio skew, and studies that experimentally manipulate brood sex ratio and investigate fitness effects. PMID:11958704

  14. Partnership status and the human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed Central

    Norberg, Karen

    2004-01-01

    If two-parent care has different consequences for the reproductive success of sons and daughters, then natural selection may favour adjustment of the sex ratio at birth according to circumstances that forecast later family structure. In humans, this partnership-status hypothesis predicts fewer sons among extra-pair conceptions, but the rival 'attractiveness' hypothesis predicts more sons among extra-pair conceptions, and the 'fixed-phenotype' hypothesis predicts a constant probability of having a son, regardless of partnership status. In a sample of 86 436 human births pooled from five US population-based surveys, I found 51.5% male births reported by respondents who were living with a spouse or partner before the child's conception or birth, and 49.9% male births reported by respondents who were not (chi(2)=16.77 d.f.=1 p<0.0001). The effect was not explained by paternal bias against daughters, by parental age, education, income, ethnicity or by year of observation, and was larger when comparisons were made between siblings. To my knowledge, this is the first direct evidence for conditional adjustment of the sex ratio at birth in humans, and could explain the recent decline in the sex ratio at birth in some developed countries. PMID:15556894

  15. Inexplicably female-biased sex ratios in Melittobia wasps.

    PubMed

    Abe, Jun; Kamimura, Yoshitaka; West, Stuart A

    2014-09-01

    The sex ratio behavior of parasitoid wasps in the genus Melittobia is scandalous. In contrast to the prediction of Hamilton's local mate competition theory, and the behavior of numerous other species, their extremely female-biased sex ratios (1-5% males) change little in response to the number of females that lay eggs on a patch. We examined the mating structure and fitness consequences of adjusting the sex ratio in M. australica and found that (1) the rate of inbreeding did not differ from that expected with random mating within each patch; (2) the fitness of females that produced less female-biased sex ratios (10 or 20% males) was greater than that of females who produced the sex ratio normally observed in M. australica. These results suggest that neither assortative mating nor asymmetrical competition between males can explain the extreme sex ratios. More generally, the finding that the sex ratios produced by females led to a decrease in their fitness suggests that the existing theory fails to capture a key aspect of the natural history of Melittobia, and emphasizes the importance of examining the fitness consequences of different sex ratio strategies, not only whether observed sex ratios correlate with theoretical predictions.

  16. Sex ratio of some long-lived dioecious plants in a sand dune area.

    PubMed

    de Jong, T J; van der Meijden, E

    2004-09-01

    In dioecious plants the fraction of males among flowering plants in the field (the secondary sex ratio) is the result of the fraction of males in the seeds (the primary sex ratio) and the subsequent survival and age at first reproduction of the two genders. It has been assumed that survival and age at first reproduction are the main determinants of biased secondary sex ratio but, especially for long-lived perennials, few data are available. We address this issue for natural populations of four long-lived perennials in a dune area. In Asparagus officinale and Bryonia dioica, the secondary sex ratio was unbiased. In Salix repens the secondary sex ratio was female-biased (0.337). Hippophae rhamnoides populations were male-biased; the average sex ratio of flowering plants was 0.658, while the fraction of males varied between 0.39 near the sea to 0.84 at the inland side of the dunes. The primary sex ratio was estimated by germinating seeds and growing plants under favourable conditions with minimal mortality. In S. repens the primary sex ratio in seeds was variable among mother plants and was, on average, female-biased (0.289). This is close to the secondary sex ratio, suggesting that the female bias already originates in the seed stage. In Hippophae rhamnoides the primary sex ratio was slightly male-biased (0.564). We argue that in this species, apart from the primary sex ratio, higher mortality and a later age at first reproduction for females contribute to the strong male bias among flowering plants in the field.

  17. Secular trends and geographical variations in sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Pavic, Dario

    2015-12-01

    Numerous studies have established the presence of secular trends and geographical variations in sex ratio at birth, albeit with mixed and often contradictory results. In addition, a multitude of environmental, social, economic, demographic and other factors has been proposed to influence the sex ratio at birth, thus complicating the interpretation of both secular trends and geographical variations. In this paper, the current state of knowledge on these issues is presented and critically assessed. Analyzing longer time series of sex ratio at birth with possible cycles and random components is given priority over establishing simple linear trends in the data. In analyzing the geographical variation in the sex ratio at birth, two different levels of analysis are distinguished (global and local), and two different sets of factors affecting the sex ratio at birth are proposed accordingly. Some key guidelines and future research directions are also proposed.

  18. Effect of timing of artificial insemination on sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Rorie, R W

    1999-12-01

    For a number of years, the time of insemination or mating during estrus has been believed to influence the sex ratio of offspring, with early insemination resulting in more females and late insemination, more males. Possible mechanisms of altering the sex ratio include facilitating or inhibiting the transport of either X- or Y-chromosome-bearing sperm through the reproductive tract, preferential selection of sperm at fertilization, or sex-specific death of embryos after fertilization. In livestock species, there is evidence for preferential selection of X- or Y-bearing sperm, based on the maturational state of the oocyte at fertilization. In deer and sheep, early and late insemination appears to skew the sex ratio toward females and males, respectively. In cattle, conflicting reports on the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio make the premise less clear. Many of the published studies lack adequate observations for definitive conclusions and/or are based on infrequent observations of estrus, making it difficult to assess the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio. It is likely that any effect of time of insemination on sex ratio in cattle is relatively small. Evidence is accumulating that treatments used for synchronization of estrus or ovulation in cattle may influence the sex ratio. PMID:10735075

  19. Heritable Variation for Sex Ratio under Environmental Sex Determination in the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra Serpentina)

    PubMed Central

    Janzen, F. J.

    1992-01-01

    The magnitude of quantitative genetic variation for primary sex ratio was measured in families extracted from a natural population of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), which possesses temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Eggs were incubated at three temperatures that produced mixed sex ratios. This experimental design provided estimates of the heritability of sex ratio in multiple environments and a test of the hypothesis that genotype X environment (G X E) interactions may be maintaining genetic variation for sex ratio in this population of C. serpentina. Substantial quantitative genetic variation for primary sex ratio was detected in all experimental treatments. These results in conjunction with the occurrence of TSD in this species provide support for three critical assumptions of Fisher's theory for the microevolution of sex ratio. There were statistically significant effects of family and incubation temperature on sex ratio, but no significant interaction was observed. Estimates of the genetic correlations of sex ratio across environments were highly positive and essentially indistinguishable from +1. These latter two findings suggest that G X E interaction is not the mechanism maintaining genetic variation for sex ratio in this system. Finally, although substantial heritable variation exists for primary sex ratio of C. serpentina under constant temperatures, estimates of the effective heritability of primary sex ratio in nature are approximately an order of magnitude smaller. Small effective heritability and a long generation time in C. serpentina imply that evolution of sex ratios would be slow even in response to strong selection by, among other potential agents, any rapid and/or substantial shifts in local temperatures, including those produced by changes in the global climate. PMID:1592234

  20. Attitudes toward sex in the aged.

    PubMed

    LaTorre, R A; Kear, K

    1977-05-01

    Eighty university students and 40 staff members of a nursing home for the aged rated their reactions to three stories: a neutral (decision-making) story, a coital story, and a masturbatory story. For each story, the age and gender of the main character were varied. Results indicated an absence of negative attitudes toward sex in the aged. However, sex in the aged was less credible than sex in young people. Nursing home staff members had more negative attitudes toward sexual stories than did the students. Gender of rater had little effect. Coitus was rated more favorably for the male character than for the female character, and the reverse was true for masturbation.

  1. Patterns of Family Formation in Response to Sex Ratio Variation.

    PubMed

    Schacht, Ryan; Kramer, Karen L

    2016-01-01

    The impact that unbalanced sex ratios have on health and societal outcomes is of mounting contemporary concern. However, it is increasingly unclear whether it is male- or female-biased sex ratios that are associated with family and social instability. From a socio-demographic perspective, male-biased sex ratios leave many men unable to find a mate, elevating competition among males, disrupting family formation and negatively affecting social stability. In contrast, from a mating-market perspective, males are expected to be less willing to marry and commit to a family when the sex ratio is female-biased and males are rare. Here we use U.S. data to evaluate predictions from these competing frameworks by testing the relationship between the adult sex ratio and measures of family formation. We find that when women are rare men are more likely to marry, be part of a family and be sexually committed to a single partner. Our results do not support claims that male-biased sex ratios lead to negative family outcomes due to a surplus of unmarried men. Rather, our results highlight the need to pay increased attention to female-biased sex ratios. PMID:27556401

  2. Patterns of Family Formation in Response to Sex Ratio Variation

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Kramer, Karen L.

    2016-01-01

    The impact that unbalanced sex ratios have on health and societal outcomes is of mounting contemporary concern. However, it is increasingly unclear whether it is male- or female-biased sex ratios that are associated with family and social instability. From a socio-demographic perspective, male-biased sex ratios leave many men unable to find a mate, elevating competition among males, disrupting family formation and negatively affecting social stability. In contrast, from a mating-market perspective, males are expected to be less willing to marry and commit to a family when the sex ratio is female-biased and males are rare. Here we use U.S. data to evaluate predictions from these competing frameworks by testing the relationship between the adult sex ratio and measures of family formation. We find that when women are rare men are more likely to marry, be part of a family and be sexually committed to a single partner. Our results do not support claims that male-biased sex ratios lead to negative family outcomes due to a surplus of unmarried men. Rather, our results highlight the need to pay increased attention to female-biased sex ratios. PMID:27556401

  3. Sex ratio selection and multi-factorial sex determination in the housefly: a dynamic model.

    PubMed

    Kozielska, M; Pen, I; Beukeboom, L W; Weissing, F J

    2006-05-01

    Sex determining (SD) mechanisms are highly variable between different taxonomic groups and appear to change relatively quickly during evolution. Sex ratio selection could be a dominant force causing such changes. We investigate theoretically the effect of sex ratio selection on the dynamics of a multi-factorial SD system. The system considered resembles the naturally occurring three-locus system of the housefly, which allows for male heterogamety, female heterogamety and a variety of other mechanisms. Sex ratio selection is modelled by assuming cost differences in the production of sons and daughters, a scenario leading to a strong sex ratio bias in the absence of constraints imposed by the mechanism of sex determination. We show that, despite of the presumed flexibility of the SD system considered, equilibrium sex ratios never deviate strongly from 1 : 1. Even if daughters are very costly, a male-biased sex ratio can never evolve. If sons are more costly, sex ratio can be slightly female biased but even in case of large cost differences the bias is very small (<10% from 1 : 1). Sex ratio selection can lead to a shift in the SD mechanism, but cannot be the sole cause of complete switches from one SD system to another. In fact, more than one locus remains polymorphic at equilibrium. We discuss our results in the context of evolution of the variable SD mechanism found in natural housefly populations.

  4. Sex ratio and natural selection in humans: a comparative analysis of two Caucasian populations.

    PubMed

    Ulizzi, L; Zonta, L A

    1993-07-01

    In the course of the last century industrialized countries have experienced significant changes in mortality rates. Since the sex ratio of a population may be considered a function of, among other factors, differential mortality in the two sexes, it is expected to correlate with changes in sex-specific mortality rates. In this paper secular changes in the sex ratio at birth and after the action of relevant components of early selection (stillbirth, mortality within the first month and within the first year of life) have been studied in the Italian and in the USA White populations. The results can be summarized as follows. (i) In the past, extra male-specific mortality appeared to reduce the relatively large values of the sex ratio observed at birth, and this held true in both populations. (ii) In more recent times, male-specific mortality has been decreasing in all age groups, and the sex ratios before and after the action of early selection now tend to identical values. Therefore, it can be envisaged that in the near future the sex ratio observed at birth will be maintained up to the reproductive age. If the reproductive value is stabilized by natural selection, as is likely, new relationships between sex ratio and selection may be expected to develop in a relatively short time.

  5. Nestling sex ratios in the southwestern willow flycatcher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.; McCarthey, Tracy; Keim, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Using molecular-genetic techniques, we determined the gender of 202 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nestlings from 95 nests sampled over a five-year period. Overall nestling sex ratio did not vary significantly from 50:50 among years, by clutch order, or by mating strategy (monogamous vs. polygamous pairings). However, we did observe significant differences among the four sites sampled, with sex ratios biased either toward males or females at the different sites. Given the small population sizes and geographic isolation of many of the endangered subspecies' breeding populations, sex-ratio differences may have localized negative impacts.

  6. Nestling sex ratio in the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.; McCarthey, T.D.; Keim, P.

    2002-01-01

    Using molecular-genetic techniques, we determined the gender of 202 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nestlings from 95 nests sampled over a five-year period. Overall nestling sex ratio did not vary significantly from 50:50 among years, by clutch order, or by mating strategy (monogamous vs. polygamous pairings). However, we did observe significant differences among the four sites sampled, with sex ratios biased either toward males or females at the different sites. Given the small population sizes and geographic isolation of many of the endangered subspecies' breeding populations, sex-ratio differences may have localized negative impacts. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2002.

  7. Sex-different response in growth traits to resource heterogeneity explains male-biased sex ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsushita, Michinari; Takao, Mikako; Makita, Akifumi

    2016-08-01

    In dioecious plants, differences in growth traits between sexes in a response to micro-environmental heterogeneity may affect sex ratio bias and spatial distributions. Here, we examined sex ratios, stem growth traits and spatial distribution patterns in the dioecious clonal shrub Aucuba japonica var. borealis, in stands with varying light intensities. We found that male stems were significantly more decumbent (lower height/length ratio) but female stems were upright (higher height/length ratio). Moreover, we found sex-different response in stem density (no. of stems per unit area) along a light intensity gradient; in males the stem density increased with increases in canopy openness, but not in females. The higher sensitivity of males in increasing stem density to light intensity correlated with male-biased sex ratio; fine-scale sex ratio was strongly male-biased as canopy openness increased. There were also differences between sexes in spatial distributions of stems. Spatial segregation of sexes and male patches occupying larger areas than female patches might result from vigorous growth of males under well-lit environments. In summary, females and males showed different growth responses to environmental variation, and this seemed to be one of possible causes for the sex-differential spatial distributions and locally biased sex ratios.

  8. Should sex-ratio distorting parasites abandon horizontal transmission?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sex-ratio distorting parasites are of interest due to their effects upon host population dynamics and their potential to influence the evolution of host sex determination systems. In theory, the ability to distort host sex-ratios allows a parasite with efficient vertical (hereditary) transmission to dispense completely with horizontal (infectious) transmission. However, recent empirical studies indicate that some sex-ratio distorting parasites have retained the capability for horizontal transmission. Results Numerical simulations using biologically realistic parameters suggest that a feminising parasite is only likely to lose the capability for horizontal transmission if its host occurs at low density and/or has a male-biased primary sex ratio. It is also demonstrated that even a small amount of horizontal transmission can allow multiple feminising parasites to coexist within a single host population. Finally it is shown that, by boosting its host's rate of population growth, a feminising parasite can increase its own horizontal transmission and allow the invasion of other, more virulent parasites. Conclusions The prediction that sex-ratio distorting parasites are likely to retain a degree of horizontal transmission has important implications for the epidemiology and host-parasite interactions of these organisms. It may also explain the frequent co-occurrence of several sex-ratio distorting parasite species in nature. PMID:22188680

  9. Hormonal and behavioral determinants of the secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Martin, J F

    1995-01-01

    The timing of insemination relative to ovulation and the frequency of insemination appear prominently in analyses of variations in human secondary sex ratios. Explanations invoking these variables are shown to be inadequate. A new synthetic model of sex determination is proposed in which the sex of offspring is powerfully determined by the state of the cervical mucus. The cervical state is then shown to be a function of hormonal factors endogenous to the female in interaction with the effects of previous inseminations.

  10. Control of mammalian sex ratio by sexing sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-11-01

    Preselection of sex is discussed with emphasis on methods which have claimed success in separating X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm. Much of the recent experimental work in separating human X and Y sperm judges the success of enrichment solely by staining for the Y sperm with a quinacrine dye, which causes a bright fluorescence of the long arm of the Y chromosome. This method is questioned because the endpoint may be producing spurious results. Flow sorting is believed to be the first verified separation of mammalian sperm, but the sperm were nonviable. Flow cytometry can be used to quickly determine the success of other enrichment techniques. Bulk separation, as contrasted to separation based on determination of individual sperm characteristics, with 80% enrichment seems to be a reasonable future goal.

  11. Soil moisture and sex ratio in a plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance.

    PubMed Central

    Barr, Camille M.

    2004-01-01

    I investigated whether soil moisture affects relative fitness of females and hermaphrodites and sex ratio in a gynodioecious plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance. I contrast these results with those from species with strictly nuclear sex inheritance. I performed a manipulative watering experiment on seed fitness of the two sexes, and field studies measuring seed fitness and sex ratio as a function of soil moisture. In the dry site, watered hermaphrodites produced approximately twice as many seeds as unwatered hermaphrodites, with little treatment effect on female seed production. Over a natural soil moisture gradient, the ratio of female to hermaphrodite seed production was higher in dry than in wet sites. These data show that the seed fitness advantage of females is a function of soil moisture. Despite this, regression of soil moisture on the sex ratio of 23 populations was not significant. These results indicate a sex-dependent effect of soil moisture on resource allocation to seeds that does not translate into a strong effect on sex ratio. This is consistent with theory based on genomic conflict in which sex ratios are predicted to be only partly determined by fitness differences of the sexes. PMID:15347517

  12. Soil moisture and sex ratio in a plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance.

    PubMed

    Barr, Camille M

    2004-09-22

    I investigated whether soil moisture affects relative fitness of females and hermaphrodites and sex ratio in a gynodioecious plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance. I contrast these results with those from species with strictly nuclear sex inheritance. I performed a manipulative watering experiment on seed fitness of the two sexes, and field studies measuring seed fitness and sex ratio as a function of soil moisture. In the dry site, watered hermaphrodites produced approximately twice as many seeds as unwatered hermaphrodites, with little treatment effect on female seed production. Over a natural soil moisture gradient, the ratio of female to hermaphrodite seed production was higher in dry than in wet sites. These data show that the seed fitness advantage of females is a function of soil moisture. Despite this, regression of soil moisture on the sex ratio of 23 populations was not significant. These results indicate a sex-dependent effect of soil moisture on resource allocation to seeds that does not translate into a strong effect on sex ratio. This is consistent with theory based on genomic conflict in which sex ratios are predicted to be only partly determined by fitness differences of the sexes.

  13. Relationship between blood groups and sex ratio of the newborn.

    PubMed

    Rex-Kiss, B

    1991-01-01

    The examinations prove that due to the foetomaternal blood group incompatibility the sex ratio of the newborn will be higher. The most probable explanation for this fact is that the foetomaternal blood group incompatibility exerts a negative effect on the X chromosome, in consequence of which the elimination rate of the zygotes fertilized by Y chromosome-carrying spermia decrease and thus the sex ratio will be higher. The highest sex ratio was found among the D-negative newborns of D-positive mothers (172.7), whereas the lowest one among the D-positive children of D-positive mothers (113.5). The incompatibility existing in the other antigens of Rh-system and in the ABO-system also elevated the sex ratio to a minor degree.

  14. Secular trends in newborn sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Grech, Victor

    2014-11-01

    A wide variety of factors have been shown to influence the male to female ratio at birth, which invariably displays a male excess. This paper will review and amplify recent work by the author, with specific references to individual countries, regions and entire continents in order to provide a global overview of this subject. It will be shown that stress, including stress related to political events, influences this ratio. Man-made radiation is also shown to have played a significant role in relation to the Windscale fire (1957) and Chernobyl (1986).

  15. Breeding Sex Ratios in Adult Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) May Compensate for Female-Biased Hatchling Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Kelly R.; Dutton, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  16. Breeding sex ratios in adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) may compensate for female-biased hatchling sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly R; Dutton, Peter H

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  17. Ecological genetics of sex ratios in plant populations.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Spencer C H; Yakimowski, Sarah B; Field, David L; Pickup, Melinda

    2010-08-27

    In many angiosperm species, populations are reproductively subdivided into distinct sexual morphs including females, males and hermaphrodites. Sexual polymorphism is maintained by frequency-dependent selection, leading to predictable sex ratios at equilibrium. Charles Darwin devoted much of his book 'The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species' (1877) to investigating plant sexual polymorphisms and laid the foundation for many problems addressed today by integrating theory with empirical studies of the demography and genetics of populations. Here, we summarize our recent work on the ecological and genetic mechanisms influencing variation in sex ratios and their implications for evolutionary transitions among sexual systems. We present the results of a survey of sex ratios from 126 species from 47 angiosperm families and then address two general problems using examples from diverse angiosperm taxa: (i) the mechanisms governing biased sex ratios in dioecious species; (ii) the origins and maintenance of populations composed of females, males and hermaphrodites. Several themes are emphasized, including the importance of non-equilibrium conditions, the role of life history and demography in affecting sex ratios, the value of theory for modelling the dynamics of sex ratio variation, and the utility of genetic markers for investigating evolutionary processes in sexually polymorphic plant populations.

  18. Lethal combat and sex ratio evolution in a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Innocent, Tabitha M.; Savage, Joanna; West, Stuart A.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    Sex allocation theory provides excellent opportunities for testing how behavior and life histories are adjusted in response to environmental variation. One of the most successful areas from this respect is Hamilton’s local mate competition theory. As predicted by theory, a large number of animal species have been shown to adjust their offspring sex ratios (proportion male) conditionally, laying less female-biased sex ratios as the number of females that lay eggs on a patch increases. However, recent studies have shown that this predicted pattern is not followed by 2 parasitoid species in the genus Melittobia, which always produce extremely female-biased sex ratios. A possible explanation for this is that males fight fatally and that males produced by the first female to lay eggs on a patch have a competitive advantage over later emerging males. This scenario would negate the advantage of later females producing a less female-biased sex ratio. Here we examine fatal fighting and sex ratio evolution in another species, Melittobia acasta. We show that females of this species also fail to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to the number of females laying eggs on a patch. We then show that although earlier emerging males do have an advantage in winning fights, this advantage 1) can be reduced by an interaction with body size, with larger males more likely to win fights and 2) only holds for a brief period around the time at which the younger males emerge from their pupae. This suggests that lethal male combat cannot fully explain the lack of sex ratio shift observed in Melittobia species. We discuss alternative explanations. PMID:24273326

  19. Does the Mother or Father Determine the Offspring Sex Ratio? Investigating the Relationship between Maternal Digit Ratio and Offspring Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Beom; Oh, Jin Kyu; Kim, Kwang Taek; Yoon, Sang Jin; Kim, Soo Woong

    2015-01-01

    Objective In mammals, high parental testosterone levels present around the time of conception are thought to skew offspring sex ratio toward sons. The second to fourth digit ratio (digit ratio) is now widely accepted as a negative correlate of prenatal testosterone. Thus, we investigated the association between digit ratio and offspring sex ratio. Methods A total of 508 Korean patients (257 males and 251 females) less than 60 years old who had one or more offspring were prospectively enrolled. The lengths of the 2nd and 4th digits of the right hand were measured by a single investigator using a digital vernier calliper. Next, the patients’ lifetime offspring birth sex ratios were investigated. Results Maternal (rather than paternal) digit ratio was significantly associated with the number of sons (r = -0.153, p = 0.015), number of daughters (r = 0.130, p = 0.039), and offspring sex ratio (r = -0.171, p = 0.007). And, the maternal digit ratio was a significant factor for predicting offspring sex ratio (B = -1.620, p = 0.008) on multiple linear regression analysis. The female patients with a lower digit ratio (< 0.95) were found to have a higher offspring sex ratio (0.609 versus 0.521, p = 0.046) compared to those with a higher digit ratio (≥ 0.95). Furthermore, females in the low digit ratio group have a probability 1.138 greater of having sons than females in the high digit ratio group. Conclusions Maternal digit ratio was negatively associated with offspring sex ratio. Females with a lower digit ratio were more likely to have more male offspring compared to those with a higher digit ratio. Thus, our results suggest that the sex of offspring might be more influenced by maternal rather than paternal factors. PMID:26575995

  20. Human sex ratio at birth in South West Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Azeez, M. A.; Akinboro, A.; Bakare, A. A.

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Human sex ratio at birth differs from one population to the other. This variation has been attributed to cultural practices, seasonal variation, small-family size policy and sex selective technology. Information on secondary sex ratio in Nigeria is limited. AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To analyzed human sex ratio at birth for samples of the Nigerian population in 4 urban settings in Southwest Nigeria, in order to know the trend and to compare the findings with those of previous reports. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) teaching hospital at Ile Ife and Wesley Guild hospital at Ilesa, Osun state; General hospital at Ogbomoso, Oyo state and Ekiti state specialist hospital at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state. The data consisted of 35 209 live single births recorded between 1995 and 2004. Each set of data was analyzed to determine the sex ratio by year, month and quarterly values. Chi-square analysis was used to determine the deviation of the sex ratios for the years from the average value. RESULTS: The annual average ratios of 104.7:100, 102.8:100, 98.9:100 and 100.8:100 were recorded for OAU teaching hospital, Wesley Guild Hospital, General Hospital and Ekiti State specialist hospital, respectively. When pooled together, the average ratio was 102.7:100. This shows some bias for male births. Data also indicates more male birth in the rainy season, suggesting a seasonal variation of sex ratio. CONCLUSION: These findings are representative of the populations in southwest Nigeria and are comparable to values obtained for other regions in Nigeria and other populations of African origin. PMID:21957347

  1. Incubation temperature causes skewed sex ratios in a precocial bird.

    PubMed

    DuRant, Sarah E; Hopkins, William A; Carter, Amanda W; Kirkpatrick, Laila T; Navara, Kristin J; Hawley, Dana M

    2016-07-01

    Many animals with genetic sex determination are nonetheless capable of manipulating sex ratios via behavioral and physiological means, which can sometimes result in fitness benefits to the parent. Sex ratio manipulation in birds is not widely documented, and revealing the mechanisms for altered sex ratios in vertebrates remains a compelling area of research. Incubation temperature is a key component of the developmental environment for birds, but despite its well-documented effects on offspring phenotype it has rarely been considered as a factor in avian sex ratios. Using ecologically relevant manipulations of incubation temperature within the range 35.0-37.0°C, we found greater mortality of female embryos during incubation than males regardless of incubation temperature, and evidence that more female than male embryos die at the lowest incubation temperature (35.0°C). Our findings in conjunction with previous work in brush turkeys suggest incubation temperature is an important determinant of avian secondary sex ratios that requires additional study, and should be considered when estimating the impact of climate change on avian populations. PMID:27143750

  2. Climate Influences Fledgling Sex Ratio and Sex-Specific Dispersal in a Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Barros, Álvaro; Álvarez, David; Velando, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Climate influences the dynamics of natural populations by direct effects over habitat quality but also modulating the phenotypic responses of organisms’ life-history traits. These responses may be different in males and females, particularly in dimorphic species, due to sex-specific requirements or constraints. Here, in a coastal seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), we studied the influence of climate (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO; Sea Surface Temperature, SST) on two sex-related population parameters: fledgling sex ratio and sex-specific dispersal. We found that fledgling sex ratio was female skewed in NAO-positive years and male skewed in NAO-negative years. Accordingly, females dispersed a longer distance in NAO-positive years when females were overproduced, and on the contrary, males dispersed more in NAO-negative years. Overall, our findings provide rare evidence on vertebrates with genetic sex determination that climate conditions may govern population dynamics by affecting sex-specific density and dispersal. PMID:23951144

  3. Sex choice in plants: facultative adjustment of the sex ratio in the perennial herb Begonia gracilis.

    PubMed

    López, S; Domínguez, C A

    2003-11-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that reproducing individuals will increase their fitness by facultatively adjusting their relative investment towards the rarer sex in response to population shifts in operational sex ratio (OSR). The evolution of facultative manipulation of sex ratio depends on the ability of the parents to track the conditions favouring skewed sex allocation and on the mechanism controlling sex allocation. In animals, which have well-developed sensorial mechanisms, facultative adjustment of sex ratios has been demonstrated on many occasions. In this paper, we show that plants have mechanisms that allow them to evaluate the population OSR. We simulated three different conditions of population OSR by manipulating the amount of pollen received by the female flowers of a monoecious herb, and examined the effect of this treatment on the allocation to male vs. female flowers. A shortage of pollen on the stigmas resulted in a more male-skewed sex allocation, whereas plants that experienced a relatively pollen rich environment tended to produce a more female-skewed sex allocation pattern. Our results for Begonia gracilis demonstrate that the individuals of this species are able to respond to the levels of pollination intensity experienced by their female flowers and adjust their patterns of sex allocation in accordance to the expectations of sex allocation theory.

  4. Index and ring finger ratio--a morphologic sex determinant in South-Indian children.

    PubMed

    Kanchan, Tanuj; Pradeep Kumar, G

    2010-12-01

    To investigate the sexual dimorphism of index and ring finger ratio in South Indian children. The index finger length (IFL) and the ring finger length (RFL) were measured in 350 subjects aged between 2 and 12 years using a steel measuring tape. The index and ring finger ratio was computed by dividing index finger length by ring finger length. The data obtained were analyzed statistically using SPSS, version 11.0. Mean RFL was greater than mean IFL in both males and females. The mean ring finger length was longer in males than females and mean index finger length longer in females than males. However, these sex differences observed for index and ring finger length were not significant in both hands. Statistically significant sex differences were observed from the derived index and ring finger ratio. The mean index and ring finger ratio was found to be higher in females than males. Significant correlation was found between age and index and ring finger lengths. Index and ring finger ratio however, did not show any significant correlation with age. This study suggests that among South-Indian children, the index and ring finger ratio of 0.97 and less is indicative of male, and a ratio of more than 0.97 is indicative of female sex. The ratio can be a useful sex indicator irrespective of the age of the individual. PMID:20369311

  5. Dynamics of sex ratio and female unmatedness under haplodiploidy

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Andy

    2014-01-01

    Haplodiploid sex determination allows unmated females to produce sons. Consequently, a scarcity of males may lead to a significant proportion of females remaining unmated, which may in turn give rise to a surfeit of males in the following generation. Stable oscillation of the sex ratio has been predicted by classic models, and it remains a puzzle as to why this is not observed in natural populations. Here, I investigate the dynamics of sex allocation over ecological and evolutionary timescales to assess the potential for sustained oscillation. I find that, whilst stable oscillation of the sex ratio is possible, the scope for such dynamical behavior is reduced if sex allocation strategies are evolutionary labile, especially if mated females may facultatively adjust their sex allocation according to the present availability of mating partners. My model, taken together with empirical estimates of female unmatedness in haplodiploid taxa, suggests that sustained oscillation of the sex ratio is implausible in natural populations. However, this phenomenon may be relevant to artificially introduced biological control agents. PMID:24967080

  6. TOO MANY MEN? SEX RATIOS AND WOMEN’S PARTNERING BEHAVIOR IN CHINA

    PubMed Central

    Trent, Katherine; South, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    The relative numbers of women and men are changing dramatically in China, but the consequences of these imbalanced sex ratios have received little attention. We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between cohort- and community-specific sex ratios and women’s partnering behavior. Consistent with demographic-opportunity theory and sociocultural theory, we find that high sex ratios (indicating more men relative to women) are associated with an increased likelihood that women marry before age 25. However, high sex ratios are also associated with an increased likelihood that women engage in premarital and extramarital sexual relationships and have had more than one sexual partner, findings consistent with demographic-opportunity theory but inconsistent with sociocultural theory. PMID:22199403

  7. Sex ratio effects on reproductive strategies in humans

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique

    2015-01-01

    Characterizations of coy females and ardent males are rooted in models of sexual selection that are increasingly outdated. Evolutionary feedbacks can strongly influence the sex roles and subsequent patterns of sex differentiated investment in mating effort, with a key component being the adult sex ratio (ASR). Using data from eight Makushi communities of southern Guyana, characterized by varying ASRs contingent on migration, we show that even within a single ethnic group, male mating effort varies in predictable ways with the ASR. At male-biased sex ratios, men's and women's investment in mating effort are indistinguishable; only when men are in the minority are they more inclined towards short-term, low investment relationships than women. Our results support the behavioural ecological tenet that reproductive strategies are predictable and contingent on varying situational factors. PMID:26064588

  8. Estimators of the Human Effective Sex Ratio Detect Sex Biases on Different Timescales

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Leslie S.; Felsenstein, Joseph; Akey, Joshua M.

    2010-01-01

    Determining historical sex ratios throughout human evolution can provide insight into patterns of genomic variation, the structure and composition of ancient populations, and the cultural factors that influence the sex ratio (e.g., sex-specific migration rates). Although numerous studies have suggested that unequal sex ratios have existed in human evolutionary history, a coherent picture of sex-biased processes has yet to emerge. For example, two recent studies compared human X chromosome to autosomal variation to make inferences about historical sex ratios but reached seemingly contradictory conclusions, with one study finding evidence for a male bias and the other study identifying a female bias. Here, we show that a large part of this discrepancy can be explained by methodological differences. Specifically, through reanalysis of empirical data, derivation of explicit analytical formulae, and extensive simulations we demonstrate that two estimators of the effective sex ratio based on population structure and nucleotide diversity preferentially detect biases that have occurred on different timescales. Our results clarify apparently contradictory evidence on the role of sex-biased processes in human evolutionary history and show that extant patterns of human genomic variation are consistent with both a recent male bias and an earlier, persistent female bias. PMID:21109223

  9. Intrapopulation sex ratio variation in the salt grass Distichlis spicata.

    PubMed

    Eppley, S M; Stanton, M L; Grosberg, R K

    1998-11-01

    ABSTRACT In many dioecious plant populations, males and females appear to be spatially segregated, a pattern that is difficult to explain given its potentially high costs. However, in asexually propagating species, spatial segregation of the sexes may be indistinguishable from superficially similar patterns generated by random establishment of a few genets followed by extensive clonal spread and by gender-specific differences in rates of clonal spread. In populations where a significant fraction of individuals are not flowering and gender cannot be assigned to this fraction, apparent spatial segregation of the sexes may be due to differential flowering between the sexes. We confirm reports that flowering ramets of the clonal, perennial grass Distichlis spicata are spatially segregated by sex. We extend these studies in two fundamental ways and demonstrate that this species exhibits true spatial segregation of the sexes. First, using RAPD markers, we estimated that at least 50% of ramets in patches with biased sex ratios represent distinct genotypes. Second, we identified a RAPD marker linked to female phenotype (eliminating the possibility that gender is environmentally determined) and used it to show that the majority of patches exhibit significantly biased sex ratios for both ramets and genets, regardless of flowering status.

  10. Age and sex selectivity in trapping mule deer

    SciTech Connect

    Garrott, R.A.; White, G.C.

    1982-01-01

    A mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) trapping experiment is described using modified Clover traps in which changes in the placement of bait and height of the trap door modified the ratio of adult does to male and female fawns captured. The mechanisms responsible for the changes in age-sex capture ratios are discussed and indicate that modified Clover traps selectivity capture mule deer, thus introducing bias into population sampling. (JMT)

  11. Modeling Landscape-Level Spatial Variation in Sex Ratio Skew in the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

    PubMed

    James, Patrick M A; Janes, Jasmine K; Roe, Amanda D; Cooke, Barry J

    2016-08-01

    Through their influence on effective population sizes, sex ratio skew affects population dynamics. We examined spatial variation in female-biased sex ratios in the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak in western Canada to better understand how environmental context affects sex ratio skew. Our specific objectives were to: 1) characterize spatial variation in mountain pine beetle sex ratio; 2) test previously asserted hypotheses that beetle sex ratio varies with tree diameter and year in outbreak; and 3) develop predictive models of sex ratio skew for larval and adult populations. Using logistic regression, we modeled the probability that an individual beetle (n = 2,369) was female as a function of multiple environmental variables across 34 stands in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. We identified a consistent female-biased sex ratio with significantly greater skew in adults (2:1, n = 713) than in larvae (1.76:1, n = 1,643). We found that the proportion of larval females increased with decreasing tree size and with outbreak age. However, adults did not respond to tree size and larvae did not respond to outbreak age. Predictive models differed between larvae and adults. All identified models perform well and included predictors related to weather, tree diameter, and year in outbreak. Female-biased sex ratios appear to originate from differential male mortality during development rather than from sex-biased oviposition, suggesting sex ratio skew is not the cause of outbreaks, but rather a consequence. PMID:27209334

  12. Modeling Landscape-Level Spatial Variation in Sex Ratio Skew in the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

    PubMed

    James, Patrick M A; Janes, Jasmine K; Roe, Amanda D; Cooke, Barry J

    2016-08-01

    Through their influence on effective population sizes, sex ratio skew affects population dynamics. We examined spatial variation in female-biased sex ratios in the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak in western Canada to better understand how environmental context affects sex ratio skew. Our specific objectives were to: 1) characterize spatial variation in mountain pine beetle sex ratio; 2) test previously asserted hypotheses that beetle sex ratio varies with tree diameter and year in outbreak; and 3) develop predictive models of sex ratio skew for larval and adult populations. Using logistic regression, we modeled the probability that an individual beetle (n = 2,369) was female as a function of multiple environmental variables across 34 stands in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. We identified a consistent female-biased sex ratio with significantly greater skew in adults (2:1, n = 713) than in larvae (1.76:1, n = 1,643). We found that the proportion of larval females increased with decreasing tree size and with outbreak age. However, adults did not respond to tree size and larvae did not respond to outbreak age. Predictive models differed between larvae and adults. All identified models perform well and included predictors related to weather, tree diameter, and year in outbreak. Female-biased sex ratios appear to originate from differential male mortality during development rather than from sex-biased oviposition, suggesting sex ratio skew is not the cause of outbreaks, but rather a consequence.

  13. Changes in Haemoproteus sex ratios: fertility insurance or differential sex lifespan?

    PubMed Central

    Merino, Santiago; Tomás, Gustavo; Moreno, Juan; Sanz, Juan José; Arriero, Elena; Folgueira, Cristina

    2004-01-01

    There is little direct evidence of the fitness effects of changes in malaria gametocyte sex ratio. Gametocyte sex ratios in haemospororin parasites (phylum Apicomplexa) are usually female skewed. However, in some cases and especially in Haemoproteus parasites, less female-biased and even male-biased sex ratios are encountered. The 'fertility insurance hypothesis' tries to explain these biases as an evolutionary strategy to facilitate gamete encounter. Thus, the hypothesis predicts that, if there is a reduction in gametocyte density (intensity of infection) or other factors preventing gametes from meeting, a change to a higher proportion of male gametocytes may be favoured. By contrast, a change in sex ratio may be caused by other non-adaptive mechanisms, for example differential survival of the gametocytes of each sex. We study within-host changes in Haemoproteus majoris sex ratios following an experimental reduction in the density of the parasites in the blood in a breeding population of blue tits (Parus caeruleus). Medication with the antimalarial drug primaquine induced a significant reduction in Haemoproteus gametocyte infection intensity in two different breeding seasons and under two different doses of medication. Sex ratios became male skewed following the experimental treatment in agreement with the predictions of the 'fertility insurance' hypothesis. Also in support of the hypothesis, a significant change towards male-biased sex ratios emerged for non-medicated birds in one year, probably owing to the natural immune reduction of the density of the parasites in the blood. The alternative possibility that changes are caused by different lifespans of gametocytes is not supported by changes in sex ratios in control hosts, where new production and release of gametocytes occur. PMID:15306307

  14. Determining age and sex of American coots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1985-01-01

    Reliable techniques for age and sex determination of migrating and wintering American Coots (Fulica americana) have not been available. Breeding coots can be ages through age 3 by tarsal color (birds 4 years and older were placed in a 4+ age class) (Crawford 1978), and males and females have sex-specific behaviors and calls while on breeding territories (Gullion 1950, 1952). Externally, juvenile coots differ from adults in having gray (as opposed to white) bills and brown (as opposed to red) eyes to an age of 75 days (Gullion 1954-394). Bill color changes to white by about 120 days. No quantitative data have been available, however, on the proportion of juveniles retaining these traits throughout fall and early winter. Nonbreeding coots can be ages as juvenile or adult by internal examination of the thickness of the wall of the bursa of Fabricius, although bursal depth does not predictably decline with age (Fredrickson 1968). Attempts to sex coots by single external measurements of combinations of measurements have met with mixed success. Eight-five percent of 101 fall migrants in Wisconsin could be sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe including claw by using 139.5 mm as a cutoff point (Burton 1959), whereas 88% of 67 coots in California were correctly sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe without claw using 127.5 mm as the cutoff point (Gullion 1952). Two-hundred-thirty-two of 291 coots collected in Iowa, however, were in the zone of overlap between the sexes for this measurement (Fredrickson 1968). Previous studies attempting to develop aging and sexing techniques for American Coots have been limited to a few study sites or to 1 season or year, often failing to take geographical, annual, and seasonal morphological variation into account (e.g., Visser 1976, Fjeldsa 1977). We designed the present study to refine and quantify external and internal age and sex criteria for postbreeding coots, with the objective of defining techniques applicable for all

  15. Factors affecting sex ratio at birth in Croatia 1998-2008.

    PubMed

    Pavic, Dario

    2012-05-01

    This investigation aims to contribute to the existing literature on demographic and ecological factors affecting the sex ratio at birth, by analysing the births in Croatia from 1998 to 2008. Data from birth certificates for all Croatian births for the investigated period (n=420,256) were used to establish the link between parental ages, birth order, region of birth, parental occupation and parental education level, and sex of the child. The χ² test and t-test were used to assess the significance of each of the factors, along with multiple logistic regression to control for possible confounding effects. The results suggest that a joint higher age of both parents significantly lowers the sex ratio at birth. There is also a regional variation in sex ratio at birth, the lowest value being in Central Croatia and the highest in the City of Zagreb. Changes in the reproductive physiology of older parents are most probably responsible for the lower sex ratio, although the limited sample size warns against widespread generalizations. The causes of the regional variation in sex ratio at birth are most likely the different regional levels of obesity and physical inactivity. PMID:22225622

  16. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, E. Keith; Thompson, Charles F.; Sakaluk, Scott K.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard Model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age-differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability over-produced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also over-produced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that

  17. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Bowers, E Keith; Thompson, Charles F; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2015-03-01

    A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed, and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability overproduced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also overproduced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that parents are

  18. An equal sex ratio followed by differential sex mortality causes overestimation of females in gall midges: no evidence for sex ratio regulation.

    PubMed

    Tabadkani, Seyed Mohammad; Ashouri, Ahmad; Qolizadeh, Majid

    2012-06-01

    Monogeny, the production of unisexual broods by individual females, has been recognized for nearly 80 years. The genetic nature of gall midges' sex determination predicts an equal numbers of male-producing and female-producing females in the populations such that the overall sex ratio is expected to be nearly 1:1. However, observations of some strictly monogenous populations with biased sex ratio, mainly toward females, have raised the question of whether gall midges are able to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to changes in environmental conditions, and some authors have even considered sex ratio regulation as a strong force in the course of the evolution of monogeny. In this paper, first, by studying the sex ratio variations of the predatory gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza within a generation, we showed that adult males emerge up to 1 day earlier and have shorter life span than females (less than 4 days and up to 6 days, respectively). Although, the sex ratio of A. aphidimyza at the time of emergence was nearly 1:1 (52.41% males), a simple population simulation indicated that the differential mortality of sexes can lead to a female-biased sex ratio estimation (57.88% females) under random sampling in the natural environments. Our results imply that the primary sex ratio of monogenous gall midges is nearly 1:1 and that the arrhenogenic/thelygenic gall midges are not able to alter the number of their male/female progenies in response to changes in environmental conditions. PMID:22643882

  19. An equal sex ratio followed by differential sex mortality causes overestimation of females in gall midges: no evidence for sex ratio regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabadkani, Seyed Mohammad; Ashouri, Ahmad; Qolizadeh, Majid

    2012-06-01

    Monogeny, the production of unisexual broods by individual females, has been recognized for nearly 80 years. The genetic nature of gall midges' sex determination predicts an equal numbers of male-producing and female-producing females in the populations such that the overall sex ratio is expected to be nearly 1:1. However, observations of some strictly monogenous populations with biased sex ratio, mainly toward females, have raised the question of whether gall midges are able to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to changes in environmental conditions, and some authors have even considered sex ratio regulation as a strong force in the course of the evolution of monogeny. In this paper, first, by studying the sex ratio variations of the predatory gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza within a generation, we showed that adult males emerge up to 1 day earlier and have shorter life span than females (less than 4 days and up to 6 days, respectively). Although, the sex ratio of A. aphidimyza at the time of emergence was nearly 1:1 (52.41 % males), a simple population simulation indicated that the differential mortality of sexes can lead to a female-biased sex ratio estimation (57.88 % females) under random sampling in the natural environments. Our results imply that the primary sex ratio of monogenous gall midges is nearly 1:1 and that the arrhenogenic/thelygenic gall midges are not able to alter the number of their male/female progenies in response to changes in environmental conditions.

  20. Sex Ratio Bias Leads to the Evolution of Sex Role Reversal in Honey Locust Beetles.

    PubMed

    Fritzsche, Karoline; Booksmythe, Isobel; Arnqvist, Göran

    2016-09-26

    The reversal of conventional sex roles was enigmatic to Darwin, who suggested that it may evolve when sex ratios are female biased [1]. Here we present direct evidence confirming Darwin's hypothesis. We investigated mating system evolution in a sex-role-reversed beetle (Megabruchidius dorsalis) using experimental evolution under manipulated sex ratios and food regimes. In female-biased populations, where reproductive competition among females was intensified, females evolved to be more attractive and the sex roles became more reversed. Interestingly, female-specific mating behavior evolved more rapidly than male-specific mating behavior. We show that sexual selection due to reproductive competition can be strong in females and can target much the same traits as in males of species with conventional mating systems. Our study highlights two central points: the role of ecology in directing sexual selection and the role that females play in mating system evolution. PMID:27593373

  1. Prenatal bias in sex ratios in a marsupial, Antechinus agilis.

    PubMed Central

    Davison, M J; Ward, S J

    1998-01-01

    Biased sex ratios of young of birds and mammals clearly occur and may have an adaptive significance, but we rarely know the stage at which a bias is generated, or the mechanism. If a bias is generated prior to birth, studies of marsupials may be insightful because gestation is short and neonates are relatively undifferentiated. This study investigated whether biased sex ratios in Antechinus agilis are generated in the brief period between birth and the attachment of young to the mother's teats. When all young born, or just pouch young, or supernumerary young were considered, litters were strongly biased towards females (0.32 males), and there was no significant difference across the groups, so a bias is generated before birth in this species. Evidence from counts of corpora lutea suggests that embryo loss during gestation cannot account fully for the level of bias observed. Therefore, prefertilization mechanisms must contribute to the generation of sex-biased litters in this marsupial. PMID:9842736

  2. Evidence of Self-correction of Child Sex Ratios in India: A District-Level Analysis of Child Sex Ratios From 1981 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Diamond-Smith, Nadia; Bishai, David

    2015-04-01

    Sex ratios in India have become increasingly imbalanced over the past decades. We hypothesize that when sex ratios become very uneven, the shortage of girls will increase girls' future value, leading sex ratios to self-correct. Using data on children under 5 from the last four Indian censuses, we examine the relationship between the sex ratio at one point in time and the change in sex ratio over the next 10 years by district. Fixed-effects models show that when accounting for unobserved district-level characteristics--including total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, percentage literate, percentage rural, percentage scheduled caste, percentage scheduled tribe, and a time trend variable--sex ratios are significantly negatively correlated with the change in sex ratio in the successive 10-year period. This suggests that self-corrective forces are at work on imbalanced sex ratios in India.

  3. Do malaria parasites follow the algebra of sex ratio theory?

    PubMed

    Schall, Jos J

    2009-03-01

    The ratio of male to female gametocytes seen in infections of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites varies substantially, both within and among parasite species. Sex ratio theory, a mainstay of evolutionary biology, accounts for this variation. The theory provides an algebraic solution for the optimal sex ratio that will maximize parasite fitness. A crucial term in this solution is the probability of selfing by clone-mates within the vector (based on the clone number and their relative abundance). Definitive tests of the theory have proven elusive because of technical challenges in measuring clonal diversity within infections. Newly developed molecular methods now provide opportunities to test the theory with an exquisite precision. PMID:19201653

  4. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Max R.; Giller, Geoffrey S. J.; Barber, Larry B.; Fitzgerald, Kevin C.; Skelly, David K.

    2015-01-01

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  5. Going All In: Unfavorable Sex Ratios Attenuate Choice Diversification.

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Joshua M; Maner, Jon K; Carpenter, Stephanie M

    2016-06-01

    When faced with risky decisions, people typically choose to diversify their choices by allocating resources across a variety of options and thus avoid putting "all their eggs in one basket." The current research revealed that this tendency is reversed when people face an important cue to mating-related risk: skew in the operational sex ratio, or the ratio of men to women in the local environment. Counter to the typical strategy of choice diversification, findings from four studies demonstrated that the presence of romantically unfavorable sex ratios (those featuring more same-sex than opposite-sex individuals) led heterosexual people to diversify financial resources less and instead concentrate investment in high-risk/high-return options when making lottery, stock-pool, retirement-account, and research-funding decisions. These studies shed light on a key process by which people manage risks to mating success implied by unfavorable interpersonal environments. These choice patterns have important implications for mating behavior as well as other everyday forms of decision making. PMID:27056976

  6. Going All In: Unfavorable Sex Ratios Attenuate Choice Diversification.

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Joshua M; Maner, Jon K; Carpenter, Stephanie M

    2016-06-01

    When faced with risky decisions, people typically choose to diversify their choices by allocating resources across a variety of options and thus avoid putting "all their eggs in one basket." The current research revealed that this tendency is reversed when people face an important cue to mating-related risk: skew in the operational sex ratio, or the ratio of men to women in the local environment. Counter to the typical strategy of choice diversification, findings from four studies demonstrated that the presence of romantically unfavorable sex ratios (those featuring more same-sex than opposite-sex individuals) led heterosexual people to diversify financial resources less and instead concentrate investment in high-risk/high-return options when making lottery, stock-pool, retirement-account, and research-funding decisions. These studies shed light on a key process by which people manage risks to mating success implied by unfavorable interpersonal environments. These choice patterns have important implications for mating behavior as well as other everyday forms of decision making.

  7. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Max R; Giller, Geoffrey S J; Barber, Larry B; Fitzgerald, Kevin C; Skelly, David K

    2015-09-22

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  8. Mallard age and sex determination from wings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carney, S.M.; Geis, A.D.

    1960-01-01

    This paper describes characters on the wing plumage of the mallard that indicate age and sex. A key outlines a logical order in which to check age and sex characters on wings. This method was tested and found to be more than 95 percent reliable, although it was found that considerable practice and training with known-age specimens was required to achieve this level of accuracy....The implications of this technique and the sampling procedure it permits are discussed. Wing collections could provide information on production, and, if coupled with a banding program could permit seasonal population estimates to be calculated. In addition, representative samples of wings would provide data to check the reliability of several other waterfowl surveys.

  9. Transgenerational sex determination: the embryonic environment experienced by a male affects offspring sex ratio

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A.; Uller, Tobias; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Conditions experienced during embryonic development can have lasting effects, even carrying across generations. Most evidence for transgenerational effects comes from studies of female mammals, with much less known about egg-laying organisms or paternally-mediated effects. Here we show that offspring sex can be affected by the incubation temperature its father experiences years earlier. We incubated eggs of an Australian lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination under three thermal regimes; some eggs were given an aromatase inhibitor to produce sons at temperatures that usually produce only daughters. Offspring were raised to maturity and freely interbred within field enclosures. After incubating eggs of the subsequent generation and assigning parentage, we found that the developmental temperature experienced by a male significantly influences the sex of his future progeny. This transgenerational effect on sex ratio may reflect an epigenetic influence on paternally-inherited DNA. Clearly, sex determination in reptiles is far more complex than is currently envisaged. PMID:24048344

  10. Falling sex ratios and emerging evidence of sex-selective abortion in Nepal: evidence from nationally representative survey data

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Melanie Dawn; Puri, Mahesh; Hinde, Peter Richard Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To quantify trends in changing sex ratios of births before and after the legalisation of abortion in Nepal. While sex-selective abortion is common in some Asian countries, it is not clear whether the legal status of abortion is associated with the prevalence of sex-selection when sex-selection is illegal. In this context, Nepal provides an interesting case study. Abortion was legalised in 2002 and prior to that, there was no evidence of sex-selective abortion. Changes in the sex ratio at birth since legalisation would suggest an association with legalisation, even though sex-selection is expressly prohibited. Design Analysis of data from four Demographic and Health Surveys, conducted in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Setting Nepal. Participants 31 842 women aged 15–49. Main outcome measure Conditional sex ratios (CSRs) were calculated, specifically the CSR for second-born children where the first-born was female. This CSR is where the evidence of sex-selective abortion will be most visible. CSRs were looked at over time to assess the impact of legalisation as well as for population sub-groups in order to identify characteristics of women using sex-selection. Results From 2007 to 2010, the CSR for second-order births where the first-born was a girl was found to be 742 girls per 1000 boys (95% CI 599 to 913). Prior to legalisation of abortion (1998–2000), the same CSR was 1021 (906–1150). After legalisation, it dropped most among educated and richer women, especially in urban areas. Just 325 girls were born for every 1000 boys among the richest urban women. Conclusions The fall in CSRs witnessed post-legalisation indicates that sex-selective abortion is becoming more common. This change is very likely driven by both supply and demand factors. Falling fertility has intensified the need to bear a son sooner, while legal abortion services have reduced the costs and risks associated with obtaining an abortion. PMID:23674444

  11. Privation, stress, and human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Song, Shige

    2015-12-01

    This article reviews the growing interdisciplinary literature on the effect of privation and stress on human sex ratio at birth. Borrowing strength from the potential outcomes causal analysis framework, the discussion focuses on the issues of study design and identification strategy and how they have influenced the current state of the field. The review suggests that much of the inconsistency in the literature regarding the effect of privation and stress on human sex ratio at birth is due to the weak designs and over-simplistic identification strategies used in previous studies. Studies based on natural experimental designs and well-thought-out identification strategies, on the other hand, have produced rather compelling and consistent evidence suggesting that maternal privation and stress during pregnancy reduce male births.

  12. Sex-ratio meiotic drive and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Unckless, R L; Clark, A G

    2014-08-01

    It has long been known that processes occurring within a species may impact the interactions between species. For example, as competitive ability is sensitive to parameters including reproductive rate, carrying capacity and competition efficiency, the outcome of interspecific competition may be influenced by any process that alters these attributes. Although several such scenarios have been discussed, the influence of selfish genetic elements within one species on competition between species has not received theoretical treatment. We show that, with strong competition, sex-ratio meiotic drive systems can result in a significant shift in community composition because the effective birth rate in the population may be increased by a female-biased sex ratio. Using empirical data, we attempt to estimate the magnitude of this effect in several Drosophila species. We infer that meiotic drive elements, selfish genetic elements within species, can provide a substantial competitive advantage to that species within a community.

  13. SEX-RATIO MEIOTIC DRIVE AND INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION

    PubMed Central

    Unckless, Robert L.; Clark, Andrew G.

    2014-01-01

    It has long been known that processes occurring within a species may impact the interactions between species. For example, since competitive ability is sensitive to parameters including reproductive rate, carrying capacity and competition efficiency, the outcome of interspecific competition may be influenced by any process that alters these attributes. While several such scenarios have been discussed, the influence of selfish genetic elements within one species on competition between species has not received theoretical treatment. We show that, with strong competition, sex-ratio meiotic drive systems can result in a significant shift in community composition because the effective birth rate in the population may be increased by a female-biased sex-ratio. Using empirical data we attempt to estimate the magnitude of this effect in several Drosophila species. We infer that meiotic drive elements, selfish genetic elements within species, can provide a substantial competitive advantage to that species within a community. PMID:24835887

  14. Population sex ratios: another consideration in the reintroduction - reinforcement debate?

    PubMed

    Lambertucci, Sergio A; Carrete, Martina; Speziale, Karina L; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Reintroduction or reinforcement (RorR) of wild populations is a common conservation strategy. Many conservation projects involve the release of individuals of poorly studied species. This may lead to inefficient results or negative impacts on the conservation efforts. Here, we provide new insights into the conservation implications and potential consequences of a skew in the sex ratio of released birds and of the number of birds supplemented for the demography of a long-lived dimorphic bird species, the Andean condor (Vulturgryphus). We demonstrate that a RorR conservation program may be less effective in conserving a species if the sex ratios of the releases and the recipient populations are not considered. We also show that releases can reduce population declines but only if carried out over long periods (i.e., several decades). This can mean high costs for release programs and the added challenge of maintaining programs over time. If RorR programs are to be implemented, bearing in mind the importance of properly assessing their effectiveness, we urge conservation researchers and managers to consider the implications of sex ratio biases for wild populations, and particularly for dimorphic species with sexually despotic behaviour. PMID:24086641

  15. Does sex-ratio selection influence nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Timothy S.; Maciel, Jessica A.; Janzen, Fredric J.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that dioecious species should produce a balanced primary sex ratio maintained by frequency-dependent selection. Organisms with environmental sex determination, however, are vulnerable to maladaptive sex ratios, because environmental conditions vary spatio-temporally. For reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination, nest-site choice is a behavioural maternal effect that could respond to sex-ratio selection, as mothers could adjust offspring sex ratios by choosing nest sites that will have particular thermal properties. This theoretical prediction has generated decades of empirical research, yet convincing evidence that sex-ratio selection is influencing nesting behaviours remains absent. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence from nature that sex-ratio selection, rather than only viability selection, is probably an important component of nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination. We compare painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) neonates from maternally selected nest sites with those from randomly selected nest sites, observing no substantive difference in hatching success or survival, but finding a profound difference in offspring sex ratio in the direction expected based on historical records. Additionally, we leverage long-term data to reconstruct our sex ratio results had the experiment been repeated in multiple years. As predicted by theory, our results suggest that sex-ratio selection has shaped nesting behaviour in ways likely to enhance maternal fitness. PMID:24266033

  16. Serial monogamy and sex ratio bias in Nazca boobies.

    PubMed

    Maness, Terri J; Anderson, David J

    2007-08-22

    Biased operational sex ratios (OSRs) can drive sexual selection on members of the over-represented sex via competition for mates, causing higher variance and skew in reproductive success (RS) among them if an individual's quality is a persistent characteristic. Alternatively, costs of reproduction may degrade breeding performance, creating the opportunity for members of the limiting sex to switch mates adaptively, effectively homogenizing variance and skew in RS among the sex in excess. We tested these two contrasting models in a male-biased population of the Nazca booby (Sula granti) with demonstrated costs of reproduction with data on total RS over a 14-year period. Variances and skews in RS were similar, and males changed from breeder to non-breeder more frequently than females. Under the persistent individual quality model, females should mate only with high quality males, and non-breeding males should seldom enter the breeding pool, yet 45% of non-breeding males (re)entered the breeding pool each year on average. Many Nazca booby females apparently exchange a depleted male for a new mate from the pool of current non-breeder males. Our evidence linking serial monogamy to costs of reproduction is novel and suggests selection on female mating preferences based on an interaction between at least two life-history components (OSR and reproductive effort).

  17. Serial monogamy and sex ratio bias in Nazca boobies.

    PubMed

    Maness, Terri J; Anderson, David J

    2007-08-22

    Biased operational sex ratios (OSRs) can drive sexual selection on members of the over-represented sex via competition for mates, causing higher variance and skew in reproductive success (RS) among them if an individual's quality is a persistent characteristic. Alternatively, costs of reproduction may degrade breeding performance, creating the opportunity for members of the limiting sex to switch mates adaptively, effectively homogenizing variance and skew in RS among the sex in excess. We tested these two contrasting models in a male-biased population of the Nazca booby (Sula granti) with demonstrated costs of reproduction with data on total RS over a 14-year period. Variances and skews in RS were similar, and males changed from breeder to non-breeder more frequently than females. Under the persistent individual quality model, females should mate only with high quality males, and non-breeding males should seldom enter the breeding pool, yet 45% of non-breeding males (re)entered the breeding pool each year on average. Many Nazca booby females apparently exchange a depleted male for a new mate from the pool of current non-breeder males. Our evidence linking serial monogamy to costs of reproduction is novel and suggests selection on female mating preferences based on an interaction between at least two life-history components (OSR and reproductive effort). PMID:17567557

  18. Sex ratio strategies and the evolution of cue use.

    PubMed

    Moore, Jamie C; Zavodna, Monika; Compton, Stephen G; Gilmartin, Philip M

    2005-06-22

    Quantitative tests of sex allocation theory have often indicated that organism strategies deviate from model predictions. In pollinating fig wasps, Lipporrhopalum tentacularis, whole fig (brood) sex ratios are generally more female-biased than predicted by local mate competition (LMC) theory where females (foundresses) use density as a cue to assess potential LMC. We use microsatellite markers to investigate foundress sex ratios in L. tentacularis and show that they actually use their clutch size as a cue, with strategies closely approximating the predictions of a new model we develop of these conditions. We then provide evidence that the use of clutch size as a cue is common among species experiencing LMC, and given the other predictions of our model argue that this is because their ecologies mean it provides sufficiently accurate information about potential LMC that the use of other more costly cues has not evolved. We further argue that the use of these more costly cues by other species is due to the effect that ecological differences have on cue accuracy. This implies that deviations from earlier theoretical predictions often indicate that the cues used to assess environmental conditions differ from those assumed by models, rather than limits on the ability of natural selection to produce "perfect" organisms. PMID:16024394

  19. Identifying sex and age of akiapolaau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pratt, T.K.; Fancy, S.G.; Harada, C.K.; Lindsey, G.D.; Jacobi, J.D.

    1994-01-01

    Methods for identifying the sex and age of the Akiapolaau (Hemignathus munroi), an endangered honeycreeper found only on the island of Hawaii, were developed by examination and measurement of 73 museum specimens and 24 live birds captured in mist nests. Akiapolaau probably undergo a single annual molt, with most birds molting between February and July. The mottled juvenal plumage is replaced by a first basic plumage characterized by yellowish-gray or yellowish-green underparts and often by retained wingbars. Male Akiapolaau may not attain adult plumage until their third molt. In adult females, only the throat and upper breast become yellow, whereas in adult males the superciliaries, cheeks, and entire underparts are yellow. Adult males have greater exposed culmen, gonys, wing chord, tail, and tarsus lengths than do females. Akiapolaau in first prebasic molt or older can be identified as to sex by culmen length, that of males being >23.4 mm.

  20. Age and sex identification of Akohekohe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simon, John C.; Pratt, T.K.; Berlin, Kim E.; Kowalsky, James R.

    1998-01-01

    We present methods to determine the age and sex of Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei), an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, developed on the basis of 45 museum specimens and 91 live birds captured on the island of Maui. Akohekohe retained all Juvenal primaries, some Juvenal secondaries, and some body feathers after the first prebasic molt; they attained full adult plumage after the second prebasic molt. Retention of brown Juvenal body feathers, especially on the head, distinguished most birds in the first basic plumage from adults, which have a full complement of distinctive, black lanceolate body feathers with white, gray, or orange tips. Male Akohekohe were heavier than females and had longer wing, tail, and tarsometatarsus lengths. We present a linear discriminant function to sex both adults and juveniles using lengths of their wing and tarsometatarsus.

  1. Genetic architecture of sex determination in fish: applications to sex ratio control in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Paulino; Viñas, Ana M; Sánchez, Laura; Díaz, Noelia; Ribas, Laia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the sex ratio is essential in finfish farming. A balanced sex ratio is usually good for broodstock management, since it enables to develop appropriate breeding schemes. However, in some species the production of monosex populations is desirable because the existence of sexual dimorphism, primarily in growth or first time of sexual maturation, but also in color or shape, can render one sex more valuable. The knowledge of the genetic architecture of sex determination (SD) is convenient for controlling sex ratio and for the implementation of breeding programs. Unlike mammals and birds, which show highly conserved master genes that control a conserved genetic network responsible for gonad differentiation (GD), a huge diversity of SD mechanisms has been reported in fish. Despite theory predictions, more than one gene is in many cases involved in fish SD and genetic differences have been observed in the GD network. Environmental factors also play a relevant role and epigenetic mechanisms are becoming increasingly recognized for the establishment and maintenance of the GD pathways. Although major genetic factors are frequently involved in fish SD, these observations strongly suggest that SD in this group resembles a complex trait. Accordingly, the application of quantitative genetics combined with genomic tools is desirable to address its study and in fact, when applied, it has frequently demonstrated a multigene trait interacting with environmental factors in model and cultured fish species. This scenario has notable implications for aquaculture and, depending upon the species, from chromosome manipulation or environmental control techniques up to classical selection or marker assisted selection programs, are being applied. In this review, we selected four relevant species or fish groups to illustrate this diversity and hence the technologies that can be used by the industry for the control of sex ratio: turbot and European sea bass, two reference species of

  2. Genetic architecture of sex determination in fish: applications to sex ratio control in aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Paulino; Viñas, Ana M.; Sánchez, Laura; Díaz, Noelia; Ribas, Laia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the sex ratio is essential in finfish farming. A balanced sex ratio is usually good for broodstock management, since it enables to develop appropriate breeding schemes. However, in some species the production of monosex populations is desirable because the existence of sexual dimorphism, primarily in growth or first time of sexual maturation, but also in color or shape, can render one sex more valuable. The knowledge of the genetic architecture of sex determination (SD) is convenient for controlling sex ratio and for the implementation of breeding programs. Unlike mammals and birds, which show highly conserved master genes that control a conserved genetic network responsible for gonad differentiation (GD), a huge diversity of SD mechanisms has been reported in fish. Despite theory predictions, more than one gene is in many cases involved in fish SD and genetic differences have been observed in the GD network. Environmental factors also play a relevant role and epigenetic mechanisms are becoming increasingly recognized for the establishment and maintenance of the GD pathways. Although major genetic factors are frequently involved in fish SD, these observations strongly suggest that SD in this group resembles a complex trait. Accordingly, the application of quantitative genetics combined with genomic tools is desirable to address its study and in fact, when applied, it has frequently demonstrated a multigene trait interacting with environmental factors in model and cultured fish species. This scenario has notable implications for aquaculture and, depending upon the species, from chromosome manipulation or environmental control techniques up to classical selection or marker assisted selection programs, are being applied. In this review, we selected four relevant species or fish groups to illustrate this diversity and hence the technologies that can be used by the industry for the control of sex ratio: turbot and European sea bass, two reference species of

  3. Hybridization and regional sex ratios in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    Barr, C M

    2004-07-01

    I tested whether a region of high female frequencies in the gynodioecious plant, Nemophila menziesii, may be due to hybridization between regionally distributed populations with different corolla colours. I crossed plants in the greenhouse from populations with different corolla colours and found that hybrid crosses yielded higher frequencies of females than within-colour crosses. In the field, I found that populations with high female frequencies had intermediate mean corolla colours and higher variance in corolla colour, two traits suggesting hybridization. Nemophila menziesii has nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance, thus if populations with different corolla colours are fixed for different male-sterile cytoplasms and matching nuclear restorer alleles, hybridization between populations with different corolla colour should yield high frequencies of females. Two populations that are all hermaphroditic in the field segregated females in hybrid crosses suggesting that field populations may contain sex ratio distorters but appear undistorted, a prediction of genomic conflict theory. PMID:15271078

  4. Sex ratio and density affect sexual selection in a sex-role reversed fish.

    PubMed

    Aronsen, Tonje; Berglund, Anders; Mobley, Kenyon B; Ratikainen, Irja I; Rosenqvist, Gunilla

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how demographic processes influence mating systems is important to decode ecological influences on sexual selection in nature. We manipulated sex ratio and density in experimental populations of the sex-role reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle. We quantified sexual selection using the Bateman gradient (βss'), the opportunity for selection (I), and sexual selection (Is), and the maximum standardized sexual selection differential (smax'). We also measured selection on body length using standardized selection differentials (s') and mating differentials (m'), and tested whether the observed I and Is differ from values obtained by simulating random mating. We found that I, Is, and s'max, but not βss', were higher for females under female than male bias and the opposite for males, but density did not affect these measures. However, higher density decreased sexual selection (m' but not s') on female length, but selection on body length was not affected by sex ratio. Finally, Is but not I was higher than expected from random mating, and only for females under female bias. This study demonstrates that both sex ratio and density affect sexual selection and that disentangling interrelated demographic processes is essential to a more complete understanding of mating behavior and the evolution of mating systems.

  5. Sex-biased survival predicts adult sex ratio variation in wild birds

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Liker, András; Freckleton, Robert P.; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a central concept in population demography and breeding system evolution, and has implications for population viability and biodiversity conservation. ASR exhibits immense interspecific variation in wild populations, although the causes of this variation have remained elusive. Using phylogenetic analyses of 187 avian species from 59 families, we show that neither hatching sex ratios nor fledging sex ratios correlate with ASR. However, sex-biased adult mortality is a significant predictor of ASR, and this relationship is robust to 100 alternative phylogenetic hypotheses, and potential ecological and life-history confounds. A significant component of adult mortality bias is sexual selection acting on males, whereas increased reproductive output predicts higher mortality in females. These results provide the most comprehensive insights into ASR variation to date, and suggest that ASR is an outcome of selective processes operating differentially on adult males and females. Therefore, revealing the causes of ASR variation in wild populations is essential for understanding breeding systems and population dynamics. PMID:24966308

  6. Maternal adjustment of the sex ratio in broods of the broad-horned flour beetle, Gnathocerus cornutus.

    PubMed

    Cruickshank, Tami; Wade, Michael J

    2012-07-01

    We report that females of the broad-horned flour beetle, Gnathocerus cornutus, can plastically adjust the sex ratio in their broods in response to environmental quality. Specifically, females reared in nutritionally poor environments produce broods that are 65% female, on average, with the degree of female-bias in some broods approaching 95%. In addition, females reared in nutritionally poor environments lay significantly more eggs than do females reared on standard medium, which produce broods with an even sex ratio. These effects of the mother's environment on size and sex ratio in broods are manifest even when oviposition occurs in the standard nutritional environment; indeed, the degree of female-bias increases with advancing female age despite the availability of nutritional resources to females at the time of egg laying. Our studies rule out sex-specific differences in viability early in larval development as the mechanism for the bias in sex-ratio of broods, since females reared in nutritionally poor environments have broods with hatchability and larval viability comparable to those of nonstressed females. Our studies also rule out an effect of the sire on the sex ratio in broods, since all male mates were reared on standard medium. We discuss our results in the context of theories for the evolution of plastic sex-ratios in the face of environmental deterioration and discuss how plasticity can resolve a long-standing question about the conditions underlying the evolution of biased sex ratios. PMID:22576817

  7. Sex and age identification of palila

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jeffrey, J.J.; Fancy, S.G.; Lindsey, G.D.; Banko, P.C.; Pratt, T.K.; Jacobi, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    Methods to sex and age Palila (Loxioides bailleui), an endangered Hawaiian finch restricted to subalpine woodlands on Hawai'i, were identified on the basis of measurements and plumage characteristics of 17 museum specimens and 96 known-age, live Palila. Palila undergo a single annual molt during September-December following the breeding season. Presence of a complete or partial wingbar distinguishes hatch-year and second-year Palila from after-second-year birds. Adult male Palila are distinguished from females by a distinct napeline and lt 30% gray feathers intermixed with yellow feathers on the head. The black or gray feathers of the lores and chin of males are darker than those on the back, whereas the lores and chin of females are lighter or of the same shade as back feathers.

  8. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa (Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters.

    PubMed

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (∼200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes.

  9. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa ( Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (˜200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes.

  10. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa (Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters.

    PubMed

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (∼200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes. PMID:27216175

  11. Population structure and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism and sex ratios in an insular population of Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.

    1997-01-01

    Hypotheses in the chelonian literature suggest that in species with sexual size dimorphism, the smaller sex will mature at a smaller size and a younger age than the larger sex, sex ratios should be biased in favor of the earlier maturing sex, and deviations from a 1:1 sex ratio result from maturation of the smaller sex at a younger age. I tested these hypotheses using data collected from 1991 to 1995 on an insular (Egmont Key) population of Florida box turtles, Terrapene carolina bauri. Contrary to predictions, the earlier maturing sex (males) grew to larger sizes than the late maturing sex. Males were significantly larger than females in mean carapace length but not mean body mass. Sex ratios were not balanced, favoring the earlier maturing sex (1.6 males:1 female), but the sex-ratio imbalance did not result from faster maturation of the smaller sex. The imbalance in the sex ratio in Egmont Key's box turtles is not the result of sampling biases; it may result from nest placement. Size-class structure and sex ratios can provide valuable insights into the status and trends of populations of long-lived turtles.

  12. Association of Educational Level and Child Sex Ratio in Rural and Urban India

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Inchani, Lisa R.; Lai, Dejian

    2008-01-01

    Utilizing data from the Census of India, this study compared child sex ratio in rural and urban regions of India and analyzed whether the child sex ratio was associated with mother's education level. The child sex ratios in the rural and urban regions throughout India were analyzed using the two-sample and paired Student's t-test. Further, the…

  13. Sex ratios and sexual dimorphism among recently transformed sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus Linnaeus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Thomas, M.L.H.

    1965-01-01

    The sex, length, and weight were determined of nearly all recently transformed sea lampreys migrating downstream in the Carp Lake River, Michigan, in the fall, winter, and spring of 1960-61. Similar data were collected from samples of an earlier run in the Carp Lake River and of runs in three other tributaries of Lakes Huron and Michigan. The sex ratio of the 1960-61 migrants in the Carp Lake River was 324 males:100 females. Sex ratios of migrants in the other runs varied from 77 to 86 males:100 females. The high proportion of males in the 1960-61 run in the Carp Lake River is attributed to the effective prevention of recruitment of sea lampreys in the river and transformation of the females at an earlier age than is characteristic of the males. A near equal sex ratio among recently transformed migrants is considered normal for the species. The sex composition of a run changed during the period of migration. The proportion of males among the migrants was greatest at the beginning of the run and declined steadily thereafter. The average size was smaller for males than for females. Differences in the mean lengths and weights of the sexes were statistically significant. The length-weight relation differed for the sexes and showed a slower rate of increase of weight with increase in length than is characteristic of other stages of the animals' life cycle. Seasonal changes in the length-weight relation had a trend toward lower weights among the migrants coming downstream in the later months of the run.

  14. Imbalanced sex ratios, men's sexual behavior, and risk of sexually transmitted infection in China.

    PubMed

    South, Scott J; Trent, Katherine

    2010-12-01

    China has been experiencing pronounced changes in its sex ratio, but little research has explored the consequences of these changes for sexual behavior and health. We merge data from the 1999-2000 Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from the 1982, 1990, and 2000 Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between the local sex ratio and several dimensions of men's sexual behavior and sexual health. Multilevel logistic regression models show that, when faced with a relative abundance of age-matched women in their community, Chinese men are slightly less likely to have intercourse with commercial sex workers, but are more likely to engage in premarital noncommercial intercourse and to test positive for a sexually transmitted infection. These findings are consistent with hypotheses derived from demographic-opportunity theory, which suggests that an abundance of opposite-sex partners will increase the risk of early, frequent, and multi-partner sex and, through this, sexually transmitted infection risk. PMID:21131616

  15. Sex hormones alter sex ratios in the Indian skipper frog, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis: Determining sensitive stages for gonadal sex reversal.

    PubMed

    Phuge, S K; Gramapurohit, N P

    2015-09-01

    In amphibians, although genetic factors are involved in sex determination, gonadal sex differentiation can be modified by exogenous steroid hormones suggesting a possible role of sex steroids in regulating the process. We studied the effect of testosterone propionate (TP) and estradiol-17β (E2) on gonadal differentiation and sex ratio at metamorphosis in the Indian skipper frog, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis with undifferentiated type of gonadal differentiation. A series of experiments were carried out to determine the optimum dose and sensitive stages for gonadal sex reversal. Our results clearly indicate the importance of sex hormones in controlling gonadal differentiation of E. cyanophlyctis. Treatment of tadpoles with 10, 20, 40, and 80μg/L TP throughout larval period resulted in the development of 100% males at metamorphosis at all concentrations. Similarly, treatment of tadpoles with 40μg/L TP during ovarian and testicular differentiation resulted in the development of 90% males, 10% intersexes and 100% males respectively. Treatment of tadpoles with 10, 20, 40, and 80μg/L E2 throughout larval period likewise produced 100% females at all concentrations. Furthermore, exposure to 40μg/L E2 during ovarian and testicular differentiation produced 95% females, 5% intersexes and 91% females, 9% intersexes respectively. Both TP and E2 were also effective in advancing the stages of gonadal development. Present study shows the effectiveness of both T and E2 in inducing complete sex reversal in E. cyanophlyctis. Generally, exposure to E2 increased the larval period resulting in significantly larger females than control group while the larval period of control and TP treated groups was comparable.

  16. A method for estimating population sex ratio for sage-grouse using noninvasive genetic samples.

    PubMed

    Baumgardt, J A; Goldberg, C S; Reese, K P; Connelly, J W; Musil, D D; Garton, E O; Waits, L P

    2013-05-01

    Population sex ratio is an important metric for wildlife management and conservation, but estimates can be difficult to obtain, particularly for sexually monomorphic species or for species that differ in detection probability between the sexes. Noninvasive genetic sampling (NGS) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a common method for identifying sex from sources such as hair, feathers or faeces, and is a potential source for estimating sex ratio. If, however, PCR success is sex-biased, naively using NGS could lead to a biased sex ratio estimator. We measured PCR success rates and error rates for amplifying the W and Z chromosomes from greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) faecal samples, examined how success and error rates for sex identification changed in response to faecal sample exposure time, and used simulation models to evaluate precision and bias of three sex assignment criteria for estimating population sex ratio with variable sample sizes and levels of PCR replication. We found PCR success rates were higher for females than males and that choice of sex assignment criteria influenced the bias and precision of corresponding sex ratio estimates. Our simulations demonstrate the importance of considering the interplay between the sex bias of PCR success, number of genotyping replicates, sample size, true population sex ratio and accuracy of assignment rules for designing future studies. Our results suggest that using faecal DNA for estimating the sex ratio of sage-grouse populations has great potential and, with minor adaptations and similar marker evaluations, should be applicable to numerous species.

  17. Steinernema feltiae Intraspecific Variability: Infection Dynamics and Sex-Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Gutiérrez, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) from the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are well-known biocontrol agents against numerous insect pests. The infective juveniles (IJs) are naturally occurring in the soil and their success in locating and penetrating the host will be affected by extrinsic/intrinsic factors that modulate their foraging behavior. Characterizing key traits in the infection dynamics of EPNs is critical for establishing differentiating species abilities to complete their life cycles and hence, their long-term persistence, in different habitats. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation in traits related to infection dynamics might occur in populations belonging to the same species. To assess these intraspecific differences, we evaluated the infection dynamics of 14 populations of Steinernema feltiae in two experiments measuring penetration and migration in sand column. Intraspecific variability was observed in the percentage larval mortality, time to kill the insect, penetration rate, and sex-ratio in both experiments (P < 0.01). Larval mortality and nematode penetration percentage were lower in migration experiments than in penetration ones in most of the cases. The sex-ratio was significantly biased toward female-development dominance (P < 0.05). When the populations were grouped by habitat of recovery (natural areas, crop edge, and agricultural groves), nematodes isolated in natural areas exhibited less larval mortality and penetration rates than those from some types of agricultural associated soils, suggesting a possible effect of the habitat on the phenotypic plasticity. This study reinforces the importance of considering intraspecific variability when general biological and ecological questions are addressed using EPNs. PMID:24644369

  18. Steinernema feltiae Intraspecific Variability: Infection Dynamics and Sex-Ratio.

    PubMed

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Gutiérrez, Carmen

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) from the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are well-known biocontrol agents against numerous insect pests. The infective juveniles (IJs) are naturally occurring in the soil and their success in locating and penetrating the host will be affected by extrinsic/intrinsic factors that modulate their foraging behavior. Characterizing key traits in the infection dynamics of EPNs is critical for establishing differentiating species abilities to complete their life cycles and hence, their long-term persistence, in different habitats. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation in traits related to infection dynamics might occur in populations belonging to the same species. To assess these intraspecific differences, we evaluated the infection dynamics of 14 populations of Steinernema feltiae in two experiments measuring penetration and migration in sand column. Intraspecific variability was observed in the percentage larval mortality, time to kill the insect, penetration rate, and sex-ratio in both experiments (P < 0.01). Larval mortality and nematode penetration percentage were lower in migration experiments than in penetration ones in most of the cases. The sex-ratio was significantly biased toward female-development dominance (P < 0.05). When the populations were grouped by habitat of recovery (natural areas, crop edge, and agricultural groves), nematodes isolated in natural areas exhibited less larval mortality and penetration rates than those from some types of agricultural associated soils, suggesting a possible effect of the habitat on the phenotypic plasticity. This study reinforces the importance of considering intraspecific variability when general biological and ecological questions are addressed using EPNs. PMID:24644369

  19. Steinernema feltiae Intraspecific Variability: Infection Dynamics and Sex-Ratio.

    PubMed

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Gutiérrez, Carmen

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) from the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are well-known biocontrol agents against numerous insect pests. The infective juveniles (IJs) are naturally occurring in the soil and their success in locating and penetrating the host will be affected by extrinsic/intrinsic factors that modulate their foraging behavior. Characterizing key traits in the infection dynamics of EPNs is critical for establishing differentiating species abilities to complete their life cycles and hence, their long-term persistence, in different habitats. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation in traits related to infection dynamics might occur in populations belonging to the same species. To assess these intraspecific differences, we evaluated the infection dynamics of 14 populations of Steinernema feltiae in two experiments measuring penetration and migration in sand column. Intraspecific variability was observed in the percentage larval mortality, time to kill the insect, penetration rate, and sex-ratio in both experiments (P < 0.01). Larval mortality and nematode penetration percentage were lower in migration experiments than in penetration ones in most of the cases. The sex-ratio was significantly biased toward female-development dominance (P < 0.05). When the populations were grouped by habitat of recovery (natural areas, crop edge, and agricultural groves), nematodes isolated in natural areas exhibited less larval mortality and penetration rates than those from some types of agricultural associated soils, suggesting a possible effect of the habitat on the phenotypic plasticity. This study reinforces the importance of considering intraspecific variability when general biological and ecological questions are addressed using EPNs.

  20. Sex differential for suicide among Austrian age cohorts.

    PubMed

    Etzersdorfer, E; Piribauer, F; Sonneck, G

    1996-04-01

    The suicide mortality data in Austria were studied over a period of four decades of continuous reporting. The data were studied for age, period and cohort effects. For the period 1951 to 1990 suicides among eight birth cohorts, born between 1932 and 1975, show a marked sex differential in time trends. Up to 1985, the rates increase in a constant manner for males in all age groups, in contrast to females. Results obtained using the Poisson regression models demonstrate a 35% (incidence rate ratio (IRR), 1.35%; 95% CI, 1.27-1.45) increased risk for male cohorts born later compared with those born earlier. The risk for later-born females was not increased (IRR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.91-1.17). Explanations such as improved living conditions for Austrian women remain tentative, however, as age, period and cohort effects cannot be separated as independent variables in the suicide mortality data available in Austria. PMID:8712021

  1. A female-biased sex ratio reduces the twofold cost of sex.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of sexual reproduction remains a fascinating enigma in biology. Theoretically, populations of sexual organisms investing half of their resources into producing male offspring that don't contribute to reproduction should grow at only half the rate of their asexual counterparts. This demographic disadvantage due to male production is known as the twofold cost of sex. However, the question of whether this cost is truly twofold for sexual females remains unanswered. The cost of producing males should decrease when the number of male offspring is reduced. Here, we report a case where the cost of males is actually less than twofold. By measuring the numbers of sexual strain coexisting with asexual strain among thrips, our survey revealed that the sexual strain showed female-biased sex ratios and that the relative frequency of sexual strain is negatively correlated with the proportion of males in the sexual strain. Using computer simulations, we confirmed that a female-biased sex ratio evolves in sexual individuals due to the coexistence of asexual individuals. Our results demonstrate that there is a cost of producing males that depends on the number of males. We therefore conclude that sexual reproduction can evolve with far fewer benefits than previously assumed. PMID:27035400

  2. Gametocyte sex ratio of a malaria parasite: experimental test of heritability.

    PubMed

    Osgood, Sarah M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Schall, Jos J

    2002-06-01

    The gametocyte sex ratio of Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite of western fence lizards, was studied in a modified garden experiment. Each of 6 naturally infected lizards was used to initiate 20 replicate-infections in naive western fence lizards. A significant donor effect was observed for the sex ratios of recipient infections at their maximal parasitemia, and this effect was associated with the sex ratio of the donor infection. In 20 infections in which sex ratio was followed during the course of the infection, 9 revealed constant sex ratios and 11 showed an increase in proportion of males over time. Recipient sex ratio was correlated with another life-history trait, a composite of rate of asexual replication and peak parasitemia, such that higher Rate-Peak scores were associated with infections with less female-biased sex ratios. These results are placed into the context of sex ratio theory that concludes that the degree of selfing of parasite genotypes (number of parasite clones) within the vector will influence the evolution of gametocyte sex ratio. The theory predicts that the sex ratio should be under some genetic control and thus be heritable as observed in the experiment. Clonal diversity should also influence the life-history trait, Rate-Peak, which was found to be correlated with sex ratio. PMID:12099417

  3. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings at Kuriat islands, Tunisia: can minor nesting sites contribute to compensate globally female-biased sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

  4. Sex Ratio Estimations of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Kuriat Islands, Tunisia: Can Minor Nesting Sites Contribute to Compensate Globally Female-Biased Sex Ratio?

    PubMed Central

    Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

  5. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings at Kuriat islands, Tunisia: can minor nesting sites contribute to compensate globally female-biased sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites.

  6. Girl or boy? Prenatal lead, cadmium and mercury exposure and the secondary sex ratio in the ALSPAC study.

    PubMed

    Taylor, C M; Golding, J; Emond, A M

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of prenatal exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury levels on the secondary sex ratio. Whole blood samples were collected from pregnant women enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study at a median gestational age of 11 weeks and were analyzed for lead, cadmium and mercury. Regression analysis was used to identify associations between maternal lead, cadmium and mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio with adjustment for confounders. There was no evidence for associations between maternal lead, cadmium or mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio in this sample. It appears unlikely that alterations in the secondary sex ratio are influenced by exposure to heavy metals, but further work should be done in large cohorts in other countries to confirm these findings.

  7. Explaining the Rapid Increase in Nigeria's Sex Ratio at Birth: Factors and Implications.

    PubMed

    Kaba, Amadu J

    2015-06-01

    This paper examines the rapid increase in Nigeria's sex ratio at birth from 1.03 boys born for every 1 girl born in each year from 1996-2008 to 1.06 in each year from 2009-2014, second only to Tunisia in Africa at 1.07. The average sex ratio at birth in the world in 2014 was 1.07. In most Black African nations or Black majority nations, it is 1.03 or less. Among the factors presented for this development are: historical fluctuations of sex ratio at birth; geography and ethnicity; male preference/chasing a son; Age of parents; high death rates of male infants and males in general; and wealth/socioeconomic status. Among the potential implications are: young and poor men in Nigeria may not be able to find brides and form families due to a potential shortage of females; emigration of young and poor Nigerian men to West (Africa) and elsewhere to seek brides and form families; immigration of marriage age women from West (Africa) and around the world to Nigeria to seek husbands; and low contraceptive use and high fertility rates in Nigeria.

  8. Relationship Formation and Stability in Emerging Adulthood: Do Sex Ratios Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Tara D.; Manning, Wendy D.; Giordano, Peggy C.; Longmore, Monica A.

    2011-01-01

    Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage (transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships) is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study and the 2000 U.S. Census, this study assesses whether sex ratios…

  9. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant.

    PubMed

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias") - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids.Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals). Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals) even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony.Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios. PMID:19863794

  10. Getting past nature as a guide to the human sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Timothy F

    2013-05-01

    Sex selection of children by pre-conception and post-conception techniques remains morally controversial and even illegal in some jurisdictions. Among other things, some critics fear that sex selection will distort the sex ratio, making opposite-sex relationships more difficult to secure, while other critics worry that sex selection will tilt some nations toward military aggression. The human sex ratio varies depending on how one estimates it; there is certainly no one-to-one correspondence between males and females either at birth or across the human lifespan. Complications about who qualifies as 'male' and 'female' complicate judgments about the ratio even further. Even a judiciously estimated sex ratio does not have, however, the kind of normative status that requires society to refrain from antenatal sex selection. Some societies exhibit lopsided sex ratios as a consequence of social policies and practices, and pragmatic estimates of social needs are a better guide to what the sex ratio should be, as against looking to 'nature'. The natural sex ratio cannot be a sound moral basis for prohibiting parents from selecting the sex of their children, since it ultimately lacks any normative meaning for social choices.

  11. Low sex ratio in children of professional basketball players in Spain.

    PubMed

    Palomares, A R; Lendinez Ramirez, A M; Ruiz-Galdon, M; Reyes-Engel, A

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study was to ascertain the variations in the reproductive sex ratio (number of men to number of women) among male professional basketball players in Spain. This retrospective, cross-sectional study is based on a survey conducted in the Spanish professional basketball leagues during the season 2009-2010. A total of 172 professional basketball players completed an anonymous survey. Forty-seven of the respondents had offspring, with a total of 61 children: 70% girls and 30% boys, with a sex ratio value of 0.42. Thirty-three basketball players were Caucasian (CAU), with 44 children, nine boys and 35 girls (sex ratio = 0.26). Fourteen were black, of African heritage (AFR), with 17 children, nine boys and eight girls, (sex ratio = 1.12). Differences (P < 0.01) were found in offspring sex ratio values for all basketball players (sex ratio = 0.42) and for CAU group (sex ratio = 0.26) when compared with the general Spanish population (sex ratio = 1.06). Moreover, a significant seasonal variation was observed in CAU offspring sex ratio during the first quarter compared with the rest of the year (0.66 versus 0.12) (P < 0.03). In conclusion, a significant increase in the sex ratio value in favour of female offspring was observed in the group of CAU professional basketball players.

  12. [Offspring Sex Ratio in the Captive Population of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus Pallas)].

    PubMed

    Mudrik, E A; Kashentseva, T A; Postelnykh, K A; Nosachenko, G V; Politov, D V

    2015-12-01

    The sex ratio of Siberian crane chicks (Grus leucogeranus Pallas) from the captive population ofthe Oka Crane Breeding Center was analyzed with the use of molecular sex marker EE0.6 in 2009-2014. We determined the sex of 84 birds bred from 12 dams by means of artificial insemination and natural breeding. The total primary sex ratio was 40:44, and the secondary sex ratio was 36:39 with a minor predominance of females. The mortality rate of embryos was the same for both sexes. The primary and secondary sex ratio among the first eggs in clutches showed the same trends as those observed in general analysis. The relatedness of parents by microsatellite DNA has no effect on offspring sex in both natural breeding and artificial insemination. PMID:27055304

  13. Sex Ratio and Sex Reversal in Two-year-old Class of Oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Bivalvia: Ostreidae)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jung Jun; Kim, Hyejin; Kang, Seung Wan; An, Cheul Min; Lee, Sung-Ho; Gye, Myung Chan; Lee, Jung Sick

    2012-01-01

    The sex ratio (F:M) in the same population of oyster, Crassostrea gigas at the commencement of the study (2007) was 1:1.0, but changed to 1:2.8 by the end of the study (2008). The sex reversal rate in two-year-old oysters was 40.2%. Specifically, female to male sex reversal rate was 66.1%, which is higher than the male to female sex reversal rate of 21.1%. The sex reversal pattern of C. gigas appears to go from male⇒female⇒male, and as such is determined to be rhythmical hermaphroditism. PMID:25949114

  14. Sex Ratio and Sex Reversal in Two-year-old Class of Oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Bivalvia: Ostreidae).

    PubMed

    Park, Jung Jun; Kim, Hyejin; Kang, Seung Wan; An, Cheul Min; Lee, Sung-Ho; Gye, Myung Chan; Lee, Jung Sick

    2012-12-01

    The sex ratio (F:M) in the same population of oyster, Crassostrea gigas at the commencement of the study (2007) was 1:1.0, but changed to 1:2.8 by the end of the study (2008). The sex reversal rate in two-year-old oysters was 40.2%. Specifically, female to male sex reversal rate was 66.1%, which is higher than the male to female sex reversal rate of 21.1%. The sex reversal pattern of C. gigas appears to go from male⇒female⇒male, and as such is determined to be rhythmical hermaphroditism.

  15. Maternal Condition but Not Corticosterone Is Linked to Offspring Sex Ratio in a Passerine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Lindsay J.; Evans, Neil P.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Adams, Aileen; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence of offspring sex ratio adjustment in a range of species, but the potential mechanisms remain largely unknown. Elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) is associated with factors that can favour brood sex ratio adjustment, such as reduced maternal condition, food availability and partner attractiveness. Therefore, the steroid hormone has been suggested to play a key role in sex ratio manipulation. However, despite correlative and causal evidence CORT is linked to sex ratio manipulation in some avian species, the timing of adjustment varies between studies. Consequently, whether CORT is consistently involved in sex-ratio adjustment, and how the hormone acts as a mechanism for this adjustment remains unclear. Here we measured maternal baseline CORT and body condition in free-living blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) over three years and related these factors to brood sex ratio and nestling quality. In addition, a non-invasive technique was employed to experimentally elevate maternal CORT during egg laying, and its effects upon sex ratio and nestling quality were measured. We found that maternal CORT was not correlated with brood sex ratio, but mothers with elevated CORT fledged lighter offspring. Also, experimental elevation of maternal CORT did not influence brood sex ratio or nestling quality. In one year, mothers in superior body condition produced male biased broods, and maternal condition was positively correlated with both nestling mass and growth rate in all years. Unlike previous studies maternal condition was not correlated with maternal CORT. This study provides evidence that maternal condition is linked to brood sex ratio manipulation in blue tits. However, maternal baseline CORT may not be the mechanistic link between the maternal condition and sex ratio adjustment. Overall, this study serves to highlight the complexity of sex ratio adjustment in birds and the difficulties associated with identifying sex biasing mechanisms. PMID:25347532

  16. Sex ratio and spatial distribution of male and female Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae) plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varga, Sandra; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit

    2011-09-01

    Sex ratio, sex spatial distribution and sexual dimorphism in reproduction and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation were investigated in the dioecious clonal plant Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae). Plants were monitored for five consecutive years in six study plots in Oulanka, northern Finland. Sex ratio, spatial distribution of sexes, flowering frequency, number of floral shoots and the number and weight of inflorescences were recorded. In addition, intensity of mycorrhizal fungi in the roots was assessed. Both sexes flowered each year with a similar frequency, but the overall genet sex ratio was strongly female-biased. The bivariate Ripley's analysis of the sex distribution showed that within most plots sexes were randomly distributed except for one plot. Sexual dimorphism was expressed as larger floral and inflorescence production and heavier inflorescences in males. In addition, the roots of both sexes were colonised to a similar extent by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The female sex-biased flowering ratios reported are not consistent among years and cannot be explained in terms of spatial segregation of the sexes or sex lability. The possible reasons for the female-biased sex ratio are discussed.

  17. Spiteful soldiers and sex ratio conflict in polyembryonic parasitoid wasps.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Hardy, Ian C W; Taylor, Peter D; West, Stuart A

    2007-04-01

    The existence of spiteful behaviors remains controversial. Spiteful behaviors are those that are harmful to both the actor and the recipient, and they represent one of the four fundamental types of social behavior (alongside selfishness, altruism, and mutual benefit). It has generally been assumed that the conditions required for spite to evolve are too restrictive, and so spite is unlikely to be important. This idea has been challenged in recent years, with the realization that localized competition can relax the conditions required for spite to evolve. Here we develop a theoretical model for a prime candidate for a spiteful behavior, the production of the sterile soldier caste in polyembryonic wasps. Our results show that (a) the biology of these soldiers is consistent with their main role being to mediate conflict over the sex ratio and not to defend against competitors and (b) greater conflict will occur in more outbred populations. We also show that the production of the sterile soldier caste can be classed as a spiteful behavior but that, to an extent, this is merely a semantic choice, and other interpretations such as altruism or indirect altruism are valid. However, the spite interpretation is useful in that it can lead to a more natural interpretation of relatedness and facilitate the classification of behaviors in a way that emphasizes biologically interesting differences that can be empirically tested.

  18. Male-biased sex allocation in ageing parents; a longitudinal study in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Benito, María M; Becker, Peter H

    2016-08-01

    Optimal sex allocation is frequency-dependent, but senescence may cause behaviour at old age to be suboptimal. We investigated whether sex allocation changes with parental age, using 16 years of data comprising more than 2500 molecularly sexed offspring of more than 600 known-age parents in common terns (Sterna hirundo), slightly sexually size-dimorphic seabirds. We decomposed parental age effects into within-individual change and sex allocation-associated selective (dis)appearance. Individual parents did not differ consistently in sex allocation, but offspring sex ratios at fledging changed from female- to male-biased as parents aged. Sex ratios at hatching were not related to parental age, suggesting sons to outperform daughters after hatching in broods of old parents. Our results call for the integration of sex allocation theory with theory on ageing and demography, as a change in sex allocation with age per se will cause the age structure of a population to affect the frequency-dependent benefits and the age-specific strength of selection on sex allocation. PMID:27484643

  19. Male-biased sex allocation in ageing parents; a longitudinal study in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Benito, María M; Becker, Peter H

    2016-08-01

    Optimal sex allocation is frequency-dependent, but senescence may cause behaviour at old age to be suboptimal. We investigated whether sex allocation changes with parental age, using 16 years of data comprising more than 2500 molecularly sexed offspring of more than 600 known-age parents in common terns (Sterna hirundo), slightly sexually size-dimorphic seabirds. We decomposed parental age effects into within-individual change and sex allocation-associated selective (dis)appearance. Individual parents did not differ consistently in sex allocation, but offspring sex ratios at fledging changed from female- to male-biased as parents aged. Sex ratios at hatching were not related to parental age, suggesting sons to outperform daughters after hatching in broods of old parents. Our results call for the integration of sex allocation theory with theory on ageing and demography, as a change in sex allocation with age per se will cause the age structure of a population to affect the frequency-dependent benefits and the age-specific strength of selection on sex allocation.

  20. Sex ratios of Dirofilaria immitis in naturally infected dogs show female bias at low worm intensities.

    PubMed

    Rishniw, Mark; Schukken, Ynte; Greiner, Ellis

    2012-12-01

    Sex ratios in invertebrates commonly deviate from parity (1:1). Various genetic and epigenetic factors distort sex ratios to favor males or females. We examined sex ratios in Dirofilaria immitis (heartworms) obtained from naturally-infected dogs. Dirofilaria from 84 naturally-infected pound-source dogs were extracted at necropsy, counted and sexed. Dogs had a median worm intensity of 15 filariae. Overall, sex ratios equaled 1. However, at low worm intensities, dogs were more likely to have female than male worms. Of eight unisex infections, seven were all-female (range 1-11 worms), while only one dog had a single male worm. Similarly, in mixed-sex infection at worm intensities<20 worms, dogs were more likely to have more female worms than male worms. Our results suggest that sex disequilibrium exists in D. immitis at lower worm intensities, but disappears with higher worm intensities. Reasons for this disequilibrium are unknown, but presumably confer a species survival advantage.

  1. Forest clearing and sex ratio in forest-dwelling wood ant Formica aquilonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorvari, Jouni; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2007-05-01

    Sex ratios of ants have been shown to vary with food resource levels in several studies, but it is not known whether forest clear-cutting has any effect on sex ratio of aphid-tending forest-dwelling ants. We investigated whether the offspring sex ratio of the forest dwelling ant Formica aquilonia varied as a response to clear-cutting. We found that the proportion of males was smaller in clear-cuts than in adjacent forests. Our results are among the first showing that anthropogenic changes in forest structures may have a potential to modify sex ratios of social insects and other forest-dwelling animals.

  2. Pollinating fig wasp Ceratosolen solmsi adjusts the offspring sex ratio to other foundresses.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hao-Yuan; Chen, Zhong-Zheng; Jiang, Zi-Feng; Huang, Da-Wei; Niu, Li-Ming; Fu, Yue-Guan

    2013-04-01

    Local mate competition theory predicts that offspring sex ratio in pollinating fig wasps is female-biased when there is only one foundress, and increased foundress density results in increased offspring sex ratio. Information of other foundresses and clutch size have been suggested to be the main proximate explanations for sex ratio adjustment under local mate competition. Our focus was to show the mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp, Ceratosolen solmsi Mayr, an obligate pollinator of the functionally dioecious fig, Ficus hispida Linn., with controlled experiments in the field. First, we obtained offspring from one pollinator and offspring at different oviposition sequences, and found that offspring sex ratio decreased with clutch size, and pollinators produced most of their male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females. Second, we found that offspring sex ratio increased with foundress density, and pollinators did adjust their offspring sex ratio to other females in the oviposition patches. We suggest that when oviposition sites are not limited, pollinators will mainly adjust their offspring sex ratio to other foundresses independent of clutch size changes, whereas adjusting clutch size may be used to adjust sex ratio when oviposition sites are limited.

  3. The sex distribution of suicides by age in nations of the world.

    PubMed

    Lester, D

    1990-03-01

    The ratio of the male suicide rate to the female suicide rate for each age group in 31 nations of the world was found to be associated with the wealth of the nations. The male/female suicide rate ratio was lower in wealthier nations for older adults and higher in wealthier nations for youths. The male/female suicide rate ratio was associated over the nations among the younger age groups and also among the older age groups. These results suggest that the sex ratio may be differently determined in youths and in older adults.

  4. Sex-ratio meiotic drive and Y-linked resistance in Drosophila affinis.

    PubMed

    Unckless, Robert L; Larracuente, Amanda M; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-03-01

    Genetic elements that cheat Mendelian segregation by biasing transmission in their favor gain a significant fitness benefit. Several examples of sex-ratio meiotic drive, where one sex chromosome biases its own transmission at the cost of the opposite sex chromosome, exist in animals and plants. While the distorting sex chromosome gains a significant advantage by biasing sex ratio, the autosomes, and especially the opposite sex chromosome, experience strong selection to resist this transmission bias. In most well-studied sex-ratio meiotic drive systems, autosomal and/or Y-linked resistance has been identified. We specifically surveyed for Y-linked resistance to sex-ratio meiotic drive in Drosophila affinis by scoring the sex ratio of offspring sired by males with a driving X and one of several Y chromosomes. Two distinct types of resistance were identified: a restoration to 50/50 sex ratios and a complete reversal of sex ratio to all sons. We confirmed that fathers siring all sons lacked a Y chromosome, consistent with previously published work. Considerable variation in Y-chromosome morphology exists in D. affinis, but we showed that morphology does not appear to be associated with resistance to sex-ratio meiotic drive. We then used two X chromosomes (driving and standard) and three Y chromosomes (susceptible, resistant, and lacking) to examine fertility effects of all possible combinations. We find that both the driving X and resistant and lacking Y have significant fertility defects manifested in microscopic examination of testes and a 48-hr sperm depletion assay. Maintenance of variation in this sex-ratio meiotic drive system, including both the X-linked distorter and the Y-resistant effects, appear to be mediated by a complex interaction between fertility fitness and transmission dynamics.

  5. Sex Offenders in the Digital Age.

    PubMed

    Chan, Eric J; McNiel, Dale E; Binder, Renee L

    2016-09-01

    With most youths now using the Internet and social networking sites (SNSs), the public has become increasingly concerned about risks posed by online predators. In response, lawmakers have begun to pass laws that ban or limit sex offenders' use of the Internet and SNSs. At the time of this article, 12 states and the federal government have passed legislation attempting to restrict or ban the use of SNSs by registered sex offenders. These laws have been successfully challenged in 4 states. In this article, we discuss examples of case law that illustrate evolving trends regarding Internet and social networking site restrictions on sex offenders on supervised release, as well as those who have already completed their sentences. We also review constitutional questions and empirical evidence concerning Internet and social networking use by sex offenders. To our knowledge, this is the first paper in the psychiatric literature that addresses the evolving legal landscape in reference to sex offenders and their use of the Internet and SNSs. This article is intended to help inform forensic mental health professionals who work with sex offenders on current concerns in this rapidly evolving legal landscape. PMID:27644871

  6. Romanticism as a function of age, sex, and ethnicity.

    PubMed

    Regan, Pamela C; Anguiano, Carlos

    2010-12-01

    This study examined the association between romanticism (operationalized as mean score on the Romantic Beliefs Scale) and age, sex, and ethnicity in a large community sample (N = 436). Age was negatively correlated with romanticism scores; as age increased, romanticism scores decreased. No sex differences were found; men and women had similar, moderate scores. Although ethnicity largely was unrelated to romanticism, Asian/Pacific Islander participants were significantly more romantic than were African-American participants. PMID:21323155

  7. Status Hierarchy, Attractiveness Hierarchy and Sex Ratio: Three Contextual Factors Explaining the Status-Aggression Link among Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zwaan, Michiel; Dijkstra, Jan Kornelis; Veenstra, Rene

    2013-01-01

    The moderating effects of three specific conditions (status hierarchy, attractiveness hierarchy and sex ratio) on the link between status (popularity) and physical and relational aggression were examined in a large sample of adolescent boys ("N" = 1,665) and girls ("N" = 1,637) ("M" age = 13.60). In line with the…

  8. Sex through the ages in China.

    PubMed

    Gross, A

    1981-11-01

    This brief article summarizes some of the Chinese sexual customs as revealed by Van Gulik, Needham, Levy, the author, and others. Chinese sexology is related to medicine, philosophy, and cosmology, all of which form a unified view of the universe. Cosmologically, the Chinese view human life as between the sun ("Ying"/man) and the earth ("Yin"/women). Energy particles from the sun continually enter the fingers, pass through arms, head, and body, and exit via the toes, while energy from the earth enter through the toes and exits through the fingers. Illness occurs if there is an imbalance in this system; if either flow stops death ensues. Chinese medicine corrects the energy flow of the sun and earth by means of needles, heat, gymnastics, massage, and sexual practices. Sexual practices, affect this energy exchange by special techniques for relieving physical complaints and ultra-orgasmic practices, sometimes termed "coitus reservatus." Chinese reason that if either man or woman achieve orgasm, then considerable energy can be produced over a longer duration, perhaps increasing one's health and longevity. These beliefs flourished from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) until the close of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.). Practices during this period were to encourage orgasms for men and women with age, health, seasonal factors, and the need for heirs as variables in the practices. For example, in a Sui Dynasty (589-608 A.D.) sex manual, once a day is right for a healthy male of 30, while once every 5-10 days is proper for a 50 year old man. However, these techniques took time to learn and even "perversions" developed. Excesses encouraged the belief that sexual expression should be limited. The Confucionists during the Ching Dynasty (1644-1912) saw ultra-orgasmic exercises as a threat to government and encouraged its end. Ultra-orgasmic techniques may be used today at the village level and are inseparable from the Chinese language and literature. Male homosexuality

  9. Sex through the ages in China.

    PubMed

    Gross, A

    1981-11-01

    This brief article summarizes some of the Chinese sexual customs as revealed by Van Gulik, Needham, Levy, the author, and others. Chinese sexology is related to medicine, philosophy, and cosmology, all of which form a unified view of the universe. Cosmologically, the Chinese view human life as between the sun ("Ying"/man) and the earth ("Yin"/women). Energy particles from the sun continually enter the fingers, pass through arms, head, and body, and exit via the toes, while energy from the earth enter through the toes and exits through the fingers. Illness occurs if there is an imbalance in this system; if either flow stops death ensues. Chinese medicine corrects the energy flow of the sun and earth by means of needles, heat, gymnastics, massage, and sexual practices. Sexual practices, affect this energy exchange by special techniques for relieving physical complaints and ultra-orgasmic practices, sometimes termed "coitus reservatus." Chinese reason that if either man or woman achieve orgasm, then considerable energy can be produced over a longer duration, perhaps increasing one's health and longevity. These beliefs flourished from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) until the close of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.). Practices during this period were to encourage orgasms for men and women with age, health, seasonal factors, and the need for heirs as variables in the practices. For example, in a Sui Dynasty (589-608 A.D.) sex manual, once a day is right for a healthy male of 30, while once every 5-10 days is proper for a 50 year old man. However, these techniques took time to learn and even "perversions" developed. Excesses encouraged the belief that sexual expression should be limited. The Confucionists during the Ching Dynasty (1644-1912) saw ultra-orgasmic exercises as a threat to government and encouraged its end. Ultra-orgasmic techniques may be used today at the village level and are inseparable from the Chinese language and literature. Male homosexuality

  10. Invasion, Coexistence, and Extinction Driven by Preemptive Competition and Sex Ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnar, Ferenc; Caraco, Thomas; Korniss, Gyorgy

    2012-02-01

    We investigate competitive invasion in a simple population dynamics model, where females can differ genetically in the sex ratio of their offspring, and males can differ in mortality. Analyzing of the mean-field dynamics, we obtain conditions for ecological stability of a given sex-ratio allele for any mortality rate parameters. We also found that stable coexistence of the two alleles is possible, but only males can differ; one female phenotype is present. Our results show that the success of invasion is determined by the female birth sex ratio. A lower female ratio never excludes a larger female sex ratio; in case of coexistence, the surviving female phenotype always has the greater female sex ratio. Finally, we identified an interesting invasion-to-extinction scenario: successful invasion followed by extinction occurs when the invader initially propagates with the resident allele, but after excluding the resident, cannot survive on its own.

  11. A method for estimating fall adult sex ratios from production and survival data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wight, H.M.; Heath, R.G.; Geis, A.D.

    1965-01-01

    This paper presents a method of utilizing data relating to the production and survival of a bird population to estimate a basic fall adult sex ratio. This basic adult sex ratio is an average value derived from average production and survival rates. It is an estimate of the average sex ratio about which the fall adult ratios will fluctuate according to annual variations in production and survival. The basic fall adult sex ratio has been calculated as an asymptotic value which is the limit of an infinite series wherein average population characteristics are used as constants. Graphs are provided that allow the determination of basic sex ratios from production and survival data of a population. Where the respective asymptote has been determined, it may be possible to estimate various production and survival rates by use of variations of the formula for estimating the asymptote.

  12. Manipulation of primary sex ratio in birds: lessons from the homing pigeon (Columba livia domestica).

    PubMed

    Goerlich-Jansson, Vivian C; Müller, Martina S; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2013-12-01

    Across various animal taxa not only the secondary sex ratio but also the primary sex ratio (at conception) shows significant deviations from the expected equal proportions of sons and daughters. Birds are especially intriguing to study this phenomenon as avian females are the heterogametic sex (ZW); therefore sex determination might be under direct control of the mother. Avian sex ratios vary in relation to environmental or maternal condition, which can also affect the production of maternal steroids that in turn are involved in reproduction and accumulate in the developing follicle before meiosis. As the proximate mechanisms underlying biased primary sex ratio are largely elusive, we explored how, and to what extent, maternal steroid hormones may be involved in affecting primary or secondary sex ratio in clutches of various species of pigeons. First we demonstrated a clear case of seasonal change in sex ratio in first eggs both in the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) and in a related species, the Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus), both producing clutches of two eggs. In the Homing Pigeon (Columba livia domestica), domesticated from the Rock Pigeon, testosterone treatment of breeding females induced a clear male bias, while corticosterone induced a female bias in first eggs and we argue that this is in line with sex allocation theory. We next analyzed treatment effects on follicle formation, yolk mass, and yolk hormones, the latter both pre- and post-ovulatory, in order to test a diversity of potential mechanisms related to both primary and secondary sex ratio manipulation. We conclude that maternal plasma hormone levels may affect several pre-ovulatory mechanisms affecting primary sex ratio, whereas egg hormones are probably involved in secondary sex ratio manipulation only.

  13. Territory Quality and Plumage Morph Predict Offspring Sex Ratio Variation in a Raptor

    PubMed Central

    Chakarov, Nayden; Pauli, Martina; Mueller, Anna-Katharina; Potiek, Astrid; Grünkorn, Thomas; Dijkstra, Cor; Krüger, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Parents may adapt their offspring sex ratio in response to their own phenotype and environmental conditions. The most significant causes for adaptive sex-ratio variation might express themselves as different distributions of fitness components between sexes along a given variable. Several causes for differential sex allocation in raptors with reversed sexual size dimorphism have been suggested. We search for correlates of fledgling sex in an extensive dataset on common buzzards Buteo buteo, a long-lived bird of prey. Larger female offspring could be more resource-demanding and starvation-prone and thus the costly sex. Prominent factors such as brood size and laying date did not predict nestling sex. Nonetheless, lifetime sex ratio (LSR, potentially indicative of individual sex allocation constraints) and overall nestling sex were explained by territory quality with more females being produced in better territories. Additionally, parental plumage morphs and the interaction of morph and prey abundance tended to explain LSR and nestling sex, indicating local adaptation of sex allocation However, in a limited census of nestling mortality, not females but males tended to die more frequently in prey-rich years. Also, although females could have potentially longer reproductive careers, a subset of our data encompassing full individual life histories showed that longevity and lifetime reproductive success were similarly distributed between the sexes. Thus, a basis for adaptive sex allocation in this population remains elusive. Overall, in common buzzards most major determinants of reproductive success appeared to have no effect on sex ratio but sex allocation may be adapted to local conditions in morph-specific patterns. PMID:26445010

  14. ABO and Rh blood groups in relation to sex ratio, mean number and mortality of sibs.

    PubMed

    Allan, T M

    1977-01-01

    Data are presented on the sex ratio, mean number and mortality of the sibs of 17,060 schoolchildren, and on the sex ratio and mean number of the sibs of 5,785 blood donors, in relation to the children's and donors' sex and ABO and Rh blood groups. The sex ratio is significantly higher for the sibs of AB + B than for those of A + O schoolboys, and for the sibs of Rh-negative than for those of Rh-positive male blood donors, but in both cases the mean number of sibs is exactly the same for the first-mentioned as for the second-mentioned category.

  15. Causes and consequences of spatial variation in sex ratios in a declining bird species.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Catriona A; Robinson, Robert A; Clark, Jacquie A; Gill, Jennifer A

    2016-09-01

    Male-biased sex ratios occur in many bird species, particularly in those with small or declining populations, but the causes of these skews and their consequences for local population demography are rarely known. Within-species variation in sex ratios can help to identify the demographic and behavioural processes associated with such biases. Small populations may be more likely to have skewed sex ratios if sex differences in survival, recruitment or dispersal vary with local abundance. Analyses of species with highly variable local abundances can help to identify these mechanisms and the implications for spatial variation in demography. Many migratory bird species are currently undergoing rapid and severe declines in abundance in parts of their breeding ranges and thus have sufficient spatial variation in abundance to explore the extent of sex ratio biases, their causes and implications. Using national-scale bird ringing data for one such species (willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus), we show that sex ratios vary greatly across Britain and that male-biased sites are more frequent in areas of low abundance, which are now widespread across much of south and east England. These sex ratio biases are sufficient to impact local productivity, as the relative number of juveniles caught at survey sites declines significantly with increasing sex ratio skew. Sex differences in survival could influence this sex ratio variation, but we find little evidence for sex differences in survival increasing with sex ratio skew. In addition, sex ratios have become male-biased over the last two decades, but there are no such trends in adult survival rates for males or females. This suggests that lower female recruitment into low abundance sites is contributing to these skews. These findings suggest that male-biased sex ratios in small and declining populations can arise through local-scale sex differences in survival and dispersal, with females recruiting disproportionately into larger

  16. The continuous public goods game and the evolution of cooperative sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Kamimura, Yoshitaka; Abe, Jun; Ito, Hiroshi

    2008-05-21

    Some animals, such as Melittobia wasps and surface-living mites, have extremely female-biased sex ratios that cannot be explained by the existing local mate competition (LMC) theories. The restricted production of sons may entail cooperation among mothers, enabling the production of more daughters and avoiding severe competition among sons for insemination access. These unusual examples are characterized by the long-term cohabitation of egg-layers (foundresses) on resource patches and possible contact with oviposited eggs. By applying the logic of mutual policing, we develop a novel game theoretical model for the evolution of cooperation in sex-ratio traits. This is the first attempt to model the evolution of sex ratios based on iterated games. We assumed that foundresses have two abilities to enable mutual policing: they can monitor the sex ratio in the resource patch, and they can punish defectors that produce an overabundance of males. Numerical analysis and evolutionary simulations demonstrate that cooperative low sex ratios can evolve when the number of foundresses per patch is sufficiently small. Our model predicts a slight, but steady increase in oviposition sex ratios with an increase in the number of foundresses, which mimics the phenomenon observed in several animals with extremely female-biased sex ratios. We also discuss the relationship between our model and other models of sex-ratio evolution.

  17. The financial consequences of too many men: sex ratio effects on saving, borrowing, and spending.

    PubMed

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Tybur, Joshua M; Ackerman, Joshua M; Delton, Andrew W; Robertson, Theresa E; White, Andrew E

    2012-01-01

    The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men's desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed.

  18. Manipulation of the vertebrate host's testosterone does not affect gametocyte sex ratio of a malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Osgood, Sarah M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Wargo, Andrew R; Schall, Jos J

    2003-02-01

    Gametocyte sex ratio of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum is variable in its host, the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), both among infections and within infections over time. We sought to determine the effect of host physiological quality on the gametocyte sex ratio in experimentally induced infections of P. mexicanum. Adult male lizards were assigned to 4 treatment groups: castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, sham implant, and unmanipulated control. No significant difference in gametocyte sex ratio was found among the 4 treatment groups. Two other analyses were performed. A surgery stress analysis compared infection sex ratio of castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, and sham implant groups with the unmanipulated control group. A testosterone alteration analysis compared infection sex ratio of the castrated and castrated + testosterone implant groups with the sham implant and unmanipulated control groups. Again, no significant difference was observed for these 2 comparisons. Thus, physiological changes expected for experimentally induced variation in host testosterone and the stress of surgery were not associated with any change in the gametocyte sex ratio. Also, theex-periment suggests testosterone is not a cue for shaping the sex ratio of gametocytes in P. mexicanum. These results are related to the evolutionary theory of sex ratios as applied to malaria parasites. PMID:12659329

  19. The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing, and Spending

    PubMed Central

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Tybur, Joshua M.; Ackerman, Joshua M.; Delton, Andrew W.; Robertson, Theresa E.; White, Andrew E.

    2012-01-01

    The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men’s desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed. PMID:21767031

  20. Sibling Sex Ratio of Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mouridsen, Svend Erik; Rich, Bente; Isager, Torben

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To study the sex ratio (proportion of males) in siblings of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) as children. Method: In the current study, we extended previous studies dealing with the androgen theory of autism and examined sex ratios in the siblings of 326 individuals with ASD (245 males, 81 females) who had been…

  1. On the Relationship between Marital Opportunity and Teen Pregnancy: The Sex Ratio Question.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Nigel

    2001-01-01

    Used United Nations cross-national data to examine the relationship between low sex ratio, marital opportunity, and teen pregnancy. Geographical region, per capita gross national product, marital rate, and urban and rural status were used as control variables in analyses that utilized sex ratios to predict teen births. Overall, early childbearing…

  2. Sex Ratio Adaptations to Local Mate Competition in a Parasitic Wasp.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Werren, John H.

    1980-01-01

    This study discusses the behavior of the females of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis, which adjust the sex ratio of their broods according to whether or not they are the first or second wasp to parasitize a host. The results provide a quantitative test of sex ratio theory. (Author/SA)

  3. A sex-ratio Meiotic Drive System in Drosophila simulans. II: An X-linked Distorter

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Yun; Araripe, Luciana; Kingan, Sarah B; Ke, Yeyan; Xiao, Hailian; Hartl, Daniel L

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes creates a genetic condition favoring the invasion of sex-ratio meiotic drive elements, resulting in the biased transmission of one sex chromosome over the other, in violation of Mendel's first law. The molecular mechanisms of sex-ratio meiotic drive may therefore help us to understand the evolutionary forces shaping the meiotic behavior of the sex chromosomes. Here we characterize a sex-ratio distorter on the X chromosome (Dox) in Drosophila simulans by genetic and molecular means. Intriguingly, Dox has very limited coding capacity. It evolved from another X-linked gene, which also evolved de nova. Through retrotransposition, Dox also gave rise to an autosomal suppressor, not much yang (Nmy). An RNA interference mechanism seems to be involved in the suppression of the Dox distorter by the Nmy suppressor. Double mutant males of the genotype dox; nmy are normal for both sex-ratio and spermatogenesis. We postulate that recurrent bouts of sex-ratio meiotic drive and its subsequent suppression might underlie several common features observed in the heterogametic sex, including meiotic sex chromosome inactivation and achiasmy. PMID:17988173

  4. Inter-Annual Variability of Fledgling Sex Ratio in King Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Viblanc, Vincent A.; Gachot-Neveu, Hélène; Beaugey, Magali; Le Maho, Yvon; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-01-01

    As the number of breeding pairs depends on the adult sex ratio in a monogamous species with biparental care, investigating sex-ratio variability in natural populations is essential to understand population dynamics. Using 10 years of data (2000–2009) in a seasonally monogamous seabird, the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), we investigated the annual sex ratio at fledging, and the potential environmental causes for its variation. Over more than 4000 birds, the annual sex ratio at fledging was highly variable (ranging from 44.4% to 58.3% of males), and on average slightly biased towards males (51.6%). Yearly variation in sex-ratio bias was neither related to density within the colony, nor to global or local oceanographic conditions known to affect both the productivity and accessibility of penguin foraging areas. However, rising sea surface temperature coincided with an increase in fledging sex-ratio variability. Fledging sex ratio was also correlated with difference in body condition between male and female fledglings. When more males were produced in a given year, their body condition was higher (and reciprocally), suggesting that parents might adopt a sex-biased allocation strategy depending on yearly environmental conditions and/or that the effect of environmental parameters on chick condition and survival may be sex-dependent. The initial bias in sex ratio observed at the juvenile stage tended to return to 1∶1 equilibrium upon first breeding attempts, as would be expected from Fisher’s classic theory of offspring sex-ratio variation. PMID:25493708

  5. Inter-Annual Variability of Fledgling Sex Ratio in King Penguins.

    PubMed

    Bordier, Célia; Saraux, Claire; Viblanc, Vincent A; Gachot-Neveu, Hélène; Beaugey, Magali; Le Maho, Yvon; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-01-01

    As the number of breeding pairs depends on the adult sex ratio in a monogamous species with biparental care, investigating sex-ratio variability in natural populations is essential to understand population dynamics. Using 10 years of data (2000-2009) in a seasonally monogamous seabird, the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), we investigated the annual sex ratio at fledging, and the potential environmental causes for its variation. Over more than 4000 birds, the annual sex ratio at fledging was highly variable (ranging from 44.4% to 58.3% of males), and on average slightly biased towards males (51.6%). Yearly variation in sex-ratio bias was neither related to density within the colony, nor to global or local oceanographic conditions known to affect both the productivity and accessibility of penguin foraging areas. However, rising sea surface temperature coincided with an increase in fledging sex-ratio variability. Fledging sex ratio was also correlated with difference in body condition between male and female fledglings. When more males were produced in a given year, their body condition was higher (and reciprocally), suggesting that parents might adopt a sex-biased allocation strategy depending on yearly environmental conditions and/or that the effect of environmental parameters on chick condition and survival may be sex-dependent. The initial bias in sex ratio observed at the juvenile stage tended to return to 1∶1 equilibrium upon first breeding attempts, as would be expected from Fisher's classic theory of offspring sex-ratio variation. PMID:25493708

  6. Resource Elasticity of Offspring Survival and the Optimal Evolution of Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui-Wu; Wang, Ya-Qiang; He, Jun-Zhou; Li, Yao-Tang

    2013-01-01

    The fitness of any organisms includes the survival and reproductive rate of adults and the survival of their offspring. Environmental selection pressures might not affect these two aspects of an organism equally. Assuming that an organism first allocates its limited resources to maintain its survival under environmental selection pressure, our model, based on the evolutionarily stable strategy theory, surprisingly shows that the sex ratio is greatly affected by the environmental pressure intensity and by the reproductive resource elasticity of offspring survival. Moreover, the concept of the resource elasticity of offspring survival intrinsically integrates the ecological concepts of K selection and r selection. The model shows that in a species with reproductive strategy K, increased environmental selection pressure will reduce resource allocation to the male function. By contrast, in a species with reproductive strategy r, harsher environmental selection pressure will increase allocation to the male function. The elasticity of offspring survival might vary not only across species, but also across many other factors affecting the same species (e.g., age structure, spatial heterogeneity), which explains sex ratio differences across species or age structures and spatial heterogeneity in the same species. PMID:23468826

  7. Birth order and sibling sex ratio of children and adolescents referred to a gender identity service.

    PubMed

    Vanderlaan, Doug P; Blanchard, Ray; Wood, Hayley; Zucker, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    In adult male samples, homosexuality is associated with a preponderance of older brothers (i.e., the fraternal birth order effect). In several studies comparing gender dysphoric youth, who are likely to be homosexual in adulthood, to clinical or non-clinical control groups, the findings have been consistent with the fraternal birth order effect in males; however, less is known about unique sibship characteristics of gender dysphoric females. The current study investigated birth order and sibling sex ratio in a large sample of children and adolescents referred to the same Gender Identity Service (N = 768). Probands were classified as heterosexual males, homosexual males, or homosexual females based on clinical diagnostic information. Groups differed significantly in age and sibship size, and homosexual females were significantly more likely to be only children. Subsequent analyses controlled for age and for sibship size. Compared to heterosexual males, homosexual males had a significant preponderance of older brothers and homosexual females had a significant preponderance of older sisters. Similarly, the older sibling sex ratio of homosexual males showed a significant excess of brothers whereas that of homosexual females showed a significant excess of sisters. Like previous studies of gender dysphoric youth and adults, these findings were consistent with the fraternal birth order effect. In addition, the greater frequency of only children and elevated numbers of older sisters among the homosexual female group adds to a small literature on sibship characteristics of potential relevance to the development of gender identity and sexual orientation in females.

  8. Sheep grazing causes shift in sex ratio and cohort structure of Brandt's vole: Implication of their adaptation to food shortage.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoliang; Hou, Xianglei; Wan, Xinrong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has been demonstrated to affect the population abundance of small rodents in grasslands, but the causative mechanism of grazing on demographic parameters, particularly the age structure and sex ratio, is rarely investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of sheep grazing on the cohort structure and sex ratio of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii) in Inner Mongolia of China by using large manipulative experimental enclosures during 2010-2013. Our results indicated that sheep grazing significantly decreased the proportion of the spring-born cohort, but increased the proportion of the summer-born cohort. Grazing increased the proportion of males in both spring and summer cohorts. In addition, we found a negative relation between population density and the proportion of the overwinter cohort. Our results suggest that a shift in the cohort structure and the sex ratio may be an important strategy for small rodents to adapt to changes in food resources resulting from livestock grazing.

  9. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

    PubMed

    Reneker, Jaymie L; Kamel, Stephanie J

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female's ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

  10. Fertility transition and adverse child sex ratio in districts of India.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Sanjay K; Rajbhar, Mamta

    2014-11-01

    Demographic research in India over the last two decades has focused extensively on fertility change and gender bias at the micro-level, and less has been done at the district level. Using data from the Census of India 1991-2011 and other sources, this paper shows the broad pattern of fertility transition and trends in the child sex ratio in India, and examines the determinants of the child sex ratio at the district level. During 1991-2011, while the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined by 1.2 children per woman, the child sex ratio fell by 30 points in the districts of India. However, the reduction in fertility was slower in the high-fertility compared with the low-fertility districts. The gender differential in under-five mortality increased in many districts of India over the study period. The decline in the child sex ratio was higher in the transitional compared with the low-fertility districts. The transitional districts are at higher risk of a low child sex ratio due to an increased gender differential in mortality and increase in the practice of sex-selective abortions. The sex ratio at birth and gender differential in mortality explains one-third of the variation, while region alone explains a quarter of the variation in the child sex ratio in the districts of India.

  11. Variably male-biased sex ratio in a marine bird with females larger than males.

    PubMed

    Torres, R; Drummond, H

    1999-01-01

    When the costs of rearing males and females differ progeny sex ratios are expected to be biased toward the less expensive sex. Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) females are larger and roughly 32% heavier than males, thus presumably more costly to rear. We recorded hatching and fledging sex ratios in 1989, and fledging sex ratios during the next 5 years. In 1989, the sample of 751 chicks showed male bias at hatching (56%) and at fledging (57% at 90 days). Fledging sex ratios during the five subsequent reproductive seasons were at unity (1 year) or male-biased, varying from 56% to 70%. Male bias was greater during years when mean sea surface temperature was warmer and food was presumably in short supply. During two warm-water years (only) fledging sex ratio varied with hatching date. Proportions of male fledglings increased with date from 0.48 to 0.73 in 1994, and from 0.33 to 0.79 in 1995. Similar results were obtained when the analysis was repeated using only broods with no nestling mortality, suggesting that the overall increase in the proportion of males over the season was the result of sex ratio adjustments at hatching. The male-biased sex ratio, and the increased male bias during poor breeding conditions supports the idea that daughters may be more costly than sons, and that their relative cost increases in poor conditions. PMID:20135156

  12. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

    PubMed Central

    Reneker, Jaymie L.; Kamel, Stephanie J.

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female’s ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

  13. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

    PubMed

    Reneker, Jaymie L; Kamel, Stephanie J

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female's ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction.

  14. 76 FR 80966 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: Age, Sex, and Race of Persons...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ... Federal Bureau of Investigation Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: Age, Sex, and Race of Persons Arrested 18 Years of Age and Over; Age, Sex, and Race of Persons Arrested Under 18... the form/collection: Age, Sex, and Race of Persons Arrested 18 Years of Age and Over; Age, Sex,...

  15. Diet, maternal condition, and offspring sex ratio in the zebra finch, Poephila guttata

    PubMed Central

    Bradbury, R. B.; Blakey, J. K.

    1998-01-01

    Where maternal condition affects condition and reproductive potential of offspring differentially with respect to sex, mothers in relatively good condition should produce more of the sex whose fitness is more dependent on condition. We experimentally manipulated body-condition in unmated zebra finches by feeding them for three months on high- or low-quality diets. Birds were then allowed to breed, while keeping the same diets. Females on the lower quality diet were in better condition and hatched significantly more males than females. Poorer condition females hatched an equal sex ratio. Chicks fed on the low-quality diet, but not on the high-quality diet, showed female-biased mortality. These results show that facultative sex ratio manipulation and sex-biased mortality can act together to produce extreme sex ratios in this vertebrate.

  16. Pollination intensity influences sex ratios in dioecious Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated plant.

    PubMed

    Stehlik, Ivana; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2006-06-01

    Determining the mechanisms governing sex-ratio variation in dioecious organisms represents a central problem in evolutionary biology. It has been proposed that in plants with sex chromosomes competition between pollen tubes of female- versus male-determining microgametophytes (certation) causes female-biased primary sex ratios. Experimental support for this hypothesis is limited and recent workers have cast doubt on whether pollen-tube competition can modify sex ratios in dioecious plants. Here we investigate the influence of variation in pollination intensity on sex ratios in Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated alpine herb with strongly female-biased sex ratios. In a garden experiment, we experimentally manipulated pollination intensity using three concentric rings of female recipient plants at different distances from a central group of male pollen donors. This design enabled us to test the hypothesis that increasing pollen load size, by intensifying gametophyte competition, promotes female-biased sex ratios in R. nivalis. We detected a significant decline in pollen load at successive distance classes with concomitant reductions in seed set. Sex ratios of progeny were always female biased, but plants at the closest distance to male donors exhibited significantly greater female bias than more distant plants. The amount of female bias was positively correlated with the seed set of inflorescences. Hand pollination of stigmas resulted in approximately 100-fold higher stigmatic pollen loads than wind-pollinated stigmas and produced exceptionally female-biased progenies (female frequency = 0.96). Our results are the first to demonstrate a functional relation between stigmatic pollen capture, seed set, and sex ratio and suggest that certation can contribute towards female-biased sex ratios in dioecious plants. PMID:16892971

  17. Pollination intensity influences sex ratios in dioecious Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated plant.

    PubMed

    Stehlik, Ivana; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2006-06-01

    Determining the mechanisms governing sex-ratio variation in dioecious organisms represents a central problem in evolutionary biology. It has been proposed that in plants with sex chromosomes competition between pollen tubes of female- versus male-determining microgametophytes (certation) causes female-biased primary sex ratios. Experimental support for this hypothesis is limited and recent workers have cast doubt on whether pollen-tube competition can modify sex ratios in dioecious plants. Here we investigate the influence of variation in pollination intensity on sex ratios in Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated alpine herb with strongly female-biased sex ratios. In a garden experiment, we experimentally manipulated pollination intensity using three concentric rings of female recipient plants at different distances from a central group of male pollen donors. This design enabled us to test the hypothesis that increasing pollen load size, by intensifying gametophyte competition, promotes female-biased sex ratios in R. nivalis. We detected a significant decline in pollen load at successive distance classes with concomitant reductions in seed set. Sex ratios of progeny were always female biased, but plants at the closest distance to male donors exhibited significantly greater female bias than more distant plants. The amount of female bias was positively correlated with the seed set of inflorescences. Hand pollination of stigmas resulted in approximately 100-fold higher stigmatic pollen loads than wind-pollinated stigmas and produced exceptionally female-biased progenies (female frequency = 0.96). Our results are the first to demonstrate a functional relation between stigmatic pollen capture, seed set, and sex ratio and suggest that certation can contribute towards female-biased sex ratios in dioecious plants.

  18. Inferences about ungulate population dynamics derived from age ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, N.C.; Kauffman, M.J.; Mills, L.S.

    2008-01-01

    Age ratios (e.g., calf:cow for elk and fawn:doe for deer) are used regularly to monitor ungulate populations. However, it remains unclear what inferences are appropriate from this index because multiple vital rate changes can influence the observed ratio. We used modeling based on elk (Cervus elaphus) life-history to evaluate both how age ratios are influenced by stage-specific fecundity and survival and how well age ratios track population dynamics. Although all vital rates have the potential to influence calf:adult female ratios (i.e., calf:xow ratios), calf survival explained the vast majority of variation in calf:adult female ratios due to its temporal variation compared to other vital rates. Calf:adult female ratios were positively correlated with population growth rate (??) and often successfully indicated population trajectories. However, calf:adult female ratios performed poorly at detecting imposed declines in calf survival, suggesting that only the most severe declines would be rapidly detected. Our analyses clarify that managers can use accurate, unbiased age ratios to monitor arguably the most important components contributing to sustainable ungulate populations, survival rate of young and ??. However, age ratios are not useful for detecting gradual declines in survival of young or making inferences about fecundity or adult survival in ungulate populations. Therefore, age ratios coupled with independent estimates of population growth or population size are necessary to monitor ungulate population demography and dynamics closely through time.

  19. Female philopatry in a heterogeneous environment: ordinary conditions leading to extraordinary ESS sex ratios

    PubMed Central

    Hulin, Vincent; Guillon, Jean-Michel

    2007-01-01

    Background We use a simulation-based model to study the impact of female philopatry and heterogeneity of habitat quality on the evolution of primary sex ratio. Results We show that these conditions may lead to strongly biased ESS habitat-dependent sex ratios, under two kinds of density-dependent population regulation. ESS sex ratios are always biased towards females in good habitats, towards males in poor habitats, and are generally equilibrated considering the whole population. Noticeably, the predicted bias of sex ratio usually increases with decreasing female philopatry. Conclusion The selection forces responsible for these results are fully described. This study provides a new perspective on the evolutionary significance of temperature sex determination. We discuss the case of turtles by comparing our theoretical results with field observations. PMID:17284311

  20. Age- and sex-related changes in the normal human ear.

    PubMed

    Sforza, Chiarella; Grandi, Gaia; Binelli, Miriam; Tommasi, Davide G; Rosati, Riccardo; Ferrario, Virgilio F

    2009-05-30

    The objective of this study was to supply information about: (1) normal sex-related dimensions of ears (linear distances and ratios, area); (2) left-right symmetry; and (3) growth changes between childhood and old age. The three-dimensional coordinates of several soft-tissue landmarks on the ears and face were obtained by a non-invasive, computerized electromagnetic digitizer in 497 male and 346 female healthy subjects aged 4-73 years. From the landmarks, paired ear width and length, the relevant ratios, ear areas and angles relative to the facial midline, as well as indices of left-right symmetry, were calculated, and averaged for age and sex. Comparisons were performed by factorial analysis of variance. All ear dimensions were significantly larger in men than in women (p<0.001). A significant effect of age was found (p<0.001), with larger values in older individuals. The ear width-to-length ratio and the sagittal angle of the auricle significantly decreased as a function of age (p<0.001) but without sex-related differences. On average, the three-dimensional position of ears was symmetric, with symmetry coefficients ranging between 92% and 96%. Asymmetry was found in the sagittal angle of the auricle (both sexes), in the ear width-to-length ratio and ear width (men only). Data collected in the present investigation could serve as a data base for the quantitative description of human ear morphology and position during normal growth, development and aging. Forensic applications (evaluations of traumas, craniofacial alterations, teratogenic-induced conditions, facial reconstruction, aging of living and dead persons, personal identification) may also benefit from age- and sex-based data banks.

  1. More Women Than Men: Implications of the Changing Sex Ratio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skrabanek, R. L.

    Texas, like the rest of the nation, is undergoing a shift toward an excess of females. Review of the changing balance of the sexes reveals that there were only 95.9 males per 100 females in 1970 with a projected drop to 93.8 by 1980. In 1950 Texas had an excess of 15,000 males, but by 1960 females outnumbered males by 90,000 and by 234,000 in…

  2. A sex-ratio meiotic drive system in Drosophila simulans. I: an autosomal suppressor.

    PubMed

    Tao, Yun; Masly, John P; Araripe, Luciana; Ke, Yeyan; Hartl, Daniel L

    2007-11-01

    Sex ratio distortion (sex-ratio for short) has been reported in numerous species such as Drosophila, where distortion can readily be detected in experimental crosses, but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here we characterize an autosomal sex-ratio suppressor from D. simulans that we designate as not much yang (nmy, polytene chromosome position 87F3). Nmy suppresses an X-linked sex-ratio distorter, contains a pair of near-perfect inverted repeats of 345 bp, and evidently originated through retrotransposition from the distorter itself. The suppression is likely mediated by sequence homology between the suppressor and distorter. The strength of sex-ratio is greatly enhanced by lower temperature. This temperature sensitivity was used to assign the sex-ratio etiology to the maturation process of the Y-bearing sperm, a hypothesis corroborated by both light microscope observations and ultrastructural studies. It has long been suggested that an X-linked sex-ratio distorter can evolve by exploiting loopholes in the meiotic machinery for its own transmission advantage, which may be offset by other changes in the genome that control the selfish distorter. Data obtained in this study help to understand this evolutionary mechanism in molecular detail and provide insight regarding its evolutionary impact on genomic architecture and speciation.

  3. Sex ratio variation shapes the ecological effects of a globally introduced freshwater fish.

    PubMed

    Fryxell, David C; Arnett, Heather A; Apgar, Travis M; Kinnison, Michael T; Palkovacs, Eric P

    2015-10-22

    Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism have long been of interest in population and evolutionary ecology, but consequences for communities and ecosystems remain untested. Sex ratio could influence ecological conditions whenever sexual dimorphism is associated with ecological dimorphism in species with strong ecological interactions. We tested for ecological implications of sex ratio variation in the sexually dimorphic western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis. This species causes strong pelagic trophic cascades and exhibits substantial variation in adult sex ratios. We found that female-biased populations induced stronger pelagic trophic cascades compared with male-biased populations, causing larger changes to key community and ecosystem responses, including zooplankton abundance, phytoplankton abundance, productivity, pH and temperature. The magnitude of such effects indicates that sex ratio is important for mediating the ecological role of mosquitofish. Because both sex ratio variation and sexual dimorphism are common features of natural populations, our findings should encourage broader consideration of the ecological significance of sex ratio variation in nature, including the relative contributions of various sexually dimorphic traits to these effects. PMID:26490793

  4. Effects of mating dynamics and crowding on sex ratio variance in mice.

    PubMed

    Krackow, S

    1997-05-01

    Mating units of six virgin females and one adult stud male were established to test for the effects of timing of mating and crowding of pregnant females on litter sex ratios in mice. Females either copulated during periods when no other female of the mating unit copulated simultaneously (single mating condition) or when more than one female copulated (multiple matings condition). Two crowding conditions were imposed on the animals: the females of 14 mating units were placed into individual cages after mating (isolated condition), while females of the other 13 mating units remained in the original group until shortly before littering (crowded condition). Sex ratio variance did not deviate from random expectation in litters arising from the multiple matings periods. However, in litters arising from single mating periods, extreme sex ratios were found significantly less frequently than expected by chance. Higher sex ratio variance in litters arising from multiple matings periods is attributed to the timing of mating being at higher variance under this condition, which is known to affect sex ratios in other rodents. Crowding significantly reduced sex ratio variance further. Reduced sex ratio variance under single mating and crowded conditions is speculated to follow from competition for resources between preimplantation embryos, which may be further increased by stressful effects of crowding. Loss of embryos after implantation appeared not to be responsible for the above effects.

  5. Local resource competition and local resource enhancement shape primate birth sex ratios

    PubMed Central

    Silk, Joan B; Brown, Gillian R

    2008-01-01

    Sex ratio theory provides a powerful source of testable predictions about sex allocation strategies. Although studies of invertebrates generally support predictions derived from the sex ratio theory, evidence for adaptive sex ratio biasing in vertebrates remains contentious. This may be due to the fact that most studies of vertebrates have focused on facultative adjustment in relation to maternal condition, rather than processes that might produce uniform sex biases across individuals. Here, we examine the effects of local resource enhancement (LRE) and local resource competition (LRC) on birth sex ratios (BSRs). We also examine the effects of sex differences in the costs of rearing male and female offspring on BSRs. We present data from 102 primate species and show that BSRs are skewed in favour of the dispersing sex in species that do not breed cooperatively, as predicted by the LRC model. In accordance with the LRE model, BSRs are generally skewed in favour of the more beneficial sex in cooperatively breeding primate species. There is no evidence that BSRs reflect the extent of sexual size dimorphism, an indirect measure of the costs of rearing male and female offspring. These analyses suggest that adaptive processes may play an important role in the evolution of BSRs in vertebrates. PMID:18445562

  6. Maladaptive Sex Ratio Adjustment in the Invasive Brine Shrimp Artemia franciscana.

    PubMed

    Lievens, Eva J P; Henriques, Gil J B; Michalakis, Yannis; Lenormand, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Sex allocation theory is often hailed as the most successful area of evolutionary theory due to its striking success as a predictor of empirical observations [1]. Most naturally occurring sex ratios can be explained by the principle of equal investment in the sexes [2-4] or by cases of "extraordinary" sex allocation [5]. Deviations from the expected sex ratio are often correlated with weak selection or low environmental predictability (e.g., [6, 7]); true cases of aberrant sex allocation are surprisingly rare [8]. Here, we present a case of long-lasting maladaptive sex allocation, which we discovered in invasive populations of the exclusively sexual brine shrimp Artemia franciscana. A. franciscana was introduced to Southern France roughly 500 generations ago [9]; since then, it has coexisted with the native asexual species Artemia parthenogenetica [10]. Although we expect A. franciscana to produce balanced offspring sex ratios, we regularly observed extremely male-biased sex ratios in invasive A. franciscana, which were significantly correlated to the proportion of asexuals in the overall population. We experimentally proved that both invasive- and native-range A. franciscana overproduced sons when exposed to excess females, without distinguishing between conspecific and asexual females. We conclude that A. franciscana adjust their offspring sex ratio in function of the adult sex ratio but are information limited in the presence of asexual females. Their facultative adjustment trait, which is presumably adaptive in their native range, has thus become maladaptive in the invasive range where asexuals occur. Despite this, it has persisted unchanged for hundreds of generations. PMID:27185556

  7. Sex and Age Differences in the Endorsement of Sex Stereotypes Associated with Driving.

    PubMed

    Pravossoudovitch, Karyn; Martha, Cécile; Cury, François; Granié, Marie-Axelle

    2015-01-01

    Sex and age differences are particularly pronounced in car accidents. Current psychological research is exploring the relationship between risky driving and compliance with sex stereotypes, notably conformity with social expectations concerning masculinity. Some studies have already shown that sex stereotypes associated with driving (SSAD) may influence driving behaviors. The aim of this research was to explore the participants' sex and age differences in SSAD endorsement. A questionnaire was developed and validated on four dimensions of SSAD: male's driving skills and female's compliance with traffic rules, courtesy behind the wheel, and risk avoidance in driving. SSAD endorsement was measured for 291 licensed drivers from 18 to 64 years of age. Results revealed that females endorsed the female's risk avoidance stereotype more (p < .05), whereas males endorsed the male drivers (driving skills) stereotype more (p < .05). Results also revealed that the endorsement of male's driving skills decreases with age (p < .01) and the endorsement of female's courtesy increases with age among all participants (p = .01), while the endorsement of female's compliance with traffic rules increases with age only among female participants (p < .05). The results are discussed in terms of in-group/out-group relations and sex and age differences. PMID:26695552

  8. Sex-ratio conflict between queens and workers in eusocial Hymenoptera: mechanisms, costs, and the evolution of split colony sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Helms, Ken R; Reuter, Max; Keller, Laurent

    2005-12-01

    Because workers in the eusocial Hymenoptera are more closely related to sisters than to brothers, theory predicts that natural selection should act on them to bias (change) sex allocation to favor reproductive females over males. However, selection should also act on queens to prevent worker bias. We use a simulation approach to analyze the coevolution of this conflict in colonies with single, once-mated queens. We assume that queens bias the primary (egg) sex ratio and workers bias the secondary (adult) sex ratio, both at some cost to colony productivity. Workers can bias either by eliminating males or by directly increasing female caste determination. Although variation among colonies in kin structure is absent, simulations often result in bimodal (split) colony sex ratios. This occurs because of the evolution of two alternative queen or two alternative worker biasing strategies, one that biases strongly and another that does not bias at all. Alternative strategies evolve because the mechanisms of biasing result in accelerating benefits per unit cost with increasing bias, resulting in greater fitness for strategies that bias more and bias less than the population equilibrium. Strategies biasing more gain from increased biasing efficiency whereas strategies biasing less gain from decreased biasing cost. Our study predicts that whether queens or workers evolve alternative strategies depends upon the mechanisms that workers use to bias the sex ratio, the relative cost of queen and worker biasing, and the rates at which queen and worker strategies evolve. Our study also predicts that population and colony level sex allocation, as well as colony productivity, will differ diagnostically according to whether queens or workers evolve alternative biasing strategies and according to what mechanism workers use to bias sex allocation.

  9. Maternal Lineage of Warmblood Mares Contributes to Variation of Gestation Length and Bias of Foal Sex Ratio.

    PubMed

    Kuhl, J; Stock, K F; Wulf, M; Aurich, C

    2015-01-01

    Maternal lineage influences performance traits in horses. This is probably caused by differences in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transferred to the offspring via the oocyte. In the present study, we investigated if reproductive traits with high variability-gestation length and fetal sex ratio-are influenced by maternal lineage. Data from 142 Warmblood mares from the Brandenburg State Stud at Neustadt (Dosse), Germany, were available for the study. Mares were grouped according to their maternal lineage. Influences on the reproduction parameters gestation length and sex ratio of offspring were analyzed by simple and multiple analyses of variance. A total of 786 cases were included. From the 142 mares, 119 were assigned to six maternal lineages with n≥10 mares per lineage, and 23 mares belonged to smaller maternal lineages. The mean number of live foals produced per mare was 4.6±3.6 (±SD). Live foal rate was 83.5%. Mean gestation length was 338.5±8.9 days (±SD) with a range of 313 to 370 days. Gestation length was affected by maternal lineage (p<0.001). Gestation length was also significantly influenced by the individual mare, age of the mare, year of breeding, month of breeding and sex of the foal (p<0.05). Of the 640 foals born alive at term, 48% were male and 52% female. Mare age group and maternal lineage significantly influenced the sex ratio of the foals (p<0.05). It is concluded that maternal lineage influences reproductive parameters with high variation such as gestation length and foal sex ratio in horses. In young primiparous and aged mares, the percentage of female offspring is higher than the expected 1:1 ratio. PMID:26436555

  10. Naked at Our Age: Talking out Loud about Senior Sex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Melanie

    2012-01-01

    "Naked at Our Age" is an excellent resource for sexually interested and/or active adults over the age of 60. The book combines the author's personal reflections, questions and stories shared by older adults, and advice from sex therapists, sexuality educators, the author, and health care providers. The breadth of topics makes the book useful to…

  11. Sex, Education, Age, and Cautiousness: Implications for Counselors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Bonnie McLean; Carscaddon, David Mitchell; Lambert, Steven Dennis

    2000-01-01

    A cross-sectional study of educated men and women showed that cautiousness, as measured by perceived problem-solving ability, does not increase with age. Sex differences were nonsignificant. The results are discussed in terms of R. Schultz and J. Heckhausen's Life Span Model of Successful Aging. (Contains 28 references and 1 table.) (Author)

  12. Age, Sex, and Cultural Differences in the Meaning of Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salili, Farideh

    This study explored variations in the meaning and psychological dimensions of achievement among people of different ages, sexes, and cultures. Subjects were 504 male and female British and Chinese students aged 13-55 in Hong Kong. Repertory grid technique was used to elicit success situations and related constructs. A group grid was then…

  13. Sex-specific responses to climate change in plants alter population sex ratio and performance.

    PubMed

    Petry, William K; Soule, Judith D; Iler, Amy M; Chicas-Mosier, Ana; Inouye, David W; Miller, Tom E X; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-07-01

    Males and females are ecologically distinct in many species, but whether responses to climate change are sex-specific is unknown. We document sex-specific responses to climate change in the plant Valeriana edulis (valerian) over four decades and across its 1800-meter elevation range. Increased elevation was associated with increased water availability and female frequency, likely owing to sex-specific water use efficiency and survival. Recent aridification caused male frequency to move upslope at 175 meters per decade, a rate of trait shift outpacing reported species' range shifts by an order of magnitude. This increase in male frequency reduced pollen limitation and increased seedset. Coupled with previous studies reporting sex-specific arthropod communities, these results underscore the importance of ecological differences between the sexes in mediating biological responses to climate change. PMID:27365446

  14. Human sex ratio at birth and residential proximity to nuclear facilities in France.

    PubMed

    Scherb, Hagen; Kusmierz, Ralf; Voigt, Kristina

    2016-04-01

    The possible detrimental genetic impact on humans living in the vicinity of nuclear facilities has been previously studied. We found evidence for an increase in the human secondary sex ratio (sex odds) within distances of up to 35km from nuclear facilities in Germany and Switzerland. Here, we extend our pilot investigations using new comprehensive data from France. The French data (1968-2011) account for 36,565 municipalities with 16,968,701 male and 16,145,925 female births. The overall sex ratio was 1.0510. Using linear and nonlinear logistic regression models with dummy variables coding for appropriately grouped municipalities, operation time periods, and corresponding spatiotemporal interactions, we consider the association between annual municipality-level birth sex ratios and minimum distances of municipalities from nuclear facilities. Within 35km from 28 nuclear sites in France, the sex ratio is increased relative to the rest of France with a sex odds ratio (SOR) of 1.0028, (95% CI: 1.0007, 1.0049). The detected association between municipalities' minimum distances from nuclear facilities and the sex ratio in France corroborates our findings for Germany and Switzerland. PMID:26880420

  15. Local mate competition mediates sexual conflict over sex ratio in a haplodiploid spider mite.

    PubMed

    Macke, Emilie; Olivieri, Isabelle; Magalhães, Sara

    2014-12-01

    In haplodiploids, females pass their genes on to all their offspring, whereas a male's genes are only passed on to his daughters. Hence, males always benefit from female-biased sex ratios, whereas for females the optimal offspring sex ratio depends on the level of local mate competition (LMC), ranging from highly female-biased under strict LMC to unbiased in Panmixia. This generates a sexual conflict over sex ratio, the intensity of which depends on the LMC level, with most intense conflict in Panmixia. Such conflict might lead to an evolutionary arms race, with persistence traits evolving in males and resistance traits in females. Although this prediction is theoretically straightforward, it remains untested empirically. We addressed this by crossing spider mites that evolved under varying intensities of LMC (hence of sexual conflict), to mates from inbred lines. Under high levels of sexual conflict, both sexes evolved manipulative traits to shift the sex ratio to their own advantage. In females, this was partly achieved through changes in egg size. We thus show that (1) LMC levels modulate sexual conflict over sex ratio in haplodiploids, driving the evolution of manipulative traits, and (2) fathers can affect sex ratio, challenging conventional assumptions.

  16. Human sex ratio at birth and residential proximity to nuclear facilities in France.

    PubMed

    Scherb, Hagen; Kusmierz, Ralf; Voigt, Kristina

    2016-04-01

    The possible detrimental genetic impact on humans living in the vicinity of nuclear facilities has been previously studied. We found evidence for an increase in the human secondary sex ratio (sex odds) within distances of up to 35km from nuclear facilities in Germany and Switzerland. Here, we extend our pilot investigations using new comprehensive data from France. The French data (1968-2011) account for 36,565 municipalities with 16,968,701 male and 16,145,925 female births. The overall sex ratio was 1.0510. Using linear and nonlinear logistic regression models with dummy variables coding for appropriately grouped municipalities, operation time periods, and corresponding spatiotemporal interactions, we consider the association between annual municipality-level birth sex ratios and minimum distances of municipalities from nuclear facilities. Within 35km from 28 nuclear sites in France, the sex ratio is increased relative to the rest of France with a sex odds ratio (SOR) of 1.0028, (95% CI: 1.0007, 1.0049). The detected association between municipalities' minimum distances from nuclear facilities and the sex ratio in France corroborates our findings for Germany and Switzerland.

  17. Skewed sex ratios at birth and future marriage squeeze in China and India, 2005-2100.

    PubMed

    Guilmoto, Christophe Z

    2012-02-01

    I examine the potential impact of the anticipated future marriage squeeze on nuptiality patterns in China and India during the twenty-first century. I use population projections from 2005 to 2100 based on three different scenarios for the sex ratio at birth (SRB). To counteract the limitations of cross-sectional methods commonly used to assess the severity of marriage squeezes, I use a two-sex cohort-based procedure to simulate marriage patterns over the twenty-first century based on the female dominance model. I also examine two more-flexible marriage functions to illustrate the potential impact of changes in marriage schedules as a response to the marriage squeeze. Longitudinal indicators of marriage squeeze indicate that the number of prospective grooms in both countries will exceed that of prospective brides by more 50% for three decades in the most favorable scenario. Rates of male bachelorhood will not peak before 2050, and the squeeze conditions will be felt several decades thereafter, even among cohorts unaffected by adverse SRB. If the SRB is allowed to return to normalcy by 2020, the proportion of men unmarried at age 50 is expected to rise to 15% in China by 2055 and to 10% in India by 2065. India suffers from the additional impact of a delayed fertility transition on its age structures.

  18. Interactions between Age, Sex, and Hormones in Experimental Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fudong; McCullough, Louise D.

    2012-01-01

    Age, sex, and gonadal hormones have profound effects on ischemic stroke outcomes, although how these factors impact basic stroke pathophysiology remains unclear. There is a plethora of inconsistent data reported throughout the literature, primarily due to differences in the species examined, the timing and methods used to evaluate injury, the models used, and confusion regarding differences in stroke incidence as seen in clinical populations versus effects on acute neuroprotection or neurorepair in experimental stroke models. Sex and gonadal hormone exposure have considerable independent impact on stroke outcome, but these factors also interact with each other, and the contribution of each differs throughout the lifespan. The contribution of sex and hormones to experimental stroke will be the focus of this review. Recent advances and our current understanding of age, sex, and hormone interactions in ischemic stroke with a focus on inflammation will be discussed. PMID:23068990

  19. Birth order, estrogens and sex-ratio adaptation in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus).

    PubMed

    Creel, S; Creel, N M; Monfort, S L

    1998-10-01

    Because the sex of mammals is chromosomally determined, populations generally produce a similar proportion of males and females. However, it has been recognized for more than century that individuals might increase their fitness by over-producing offspring of one sex, under certain conditions. Small biases in the secondary sex ratio are seen in many vertebrates. Here, we report that the sex ratio of primiparous African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) is strongly biased in favor of sons (63%), while multiparous females produce an excess of daughters (64%). The direction of these biases is predicted by individual females' need for subordinate helpers. For humans, elevated estrogens have been hypothesized to bias the secondary sex ratio toward males. Consistent with this hypothesis, primiparous female wild dogs had basal estrogen levels double those of multiparous females.

  20. Sex ratios, bill deformities, and PCBs in nestling double-crested cormorants

    SciTech Connect

    Stromborg, K.L.; Sileo, L.; Tuinen, P. van

    1995-12-31

    Deformed double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nestlings examined from 1988--1992 had a sex ratio highly skewed toward females (66 of 81) compared to normal nestlings (43 of 80) (P < 0.005). The collection site, Green Bay, WI, is heavily contaminated with PCBs and the possibility of gender alteration was investigated in a designed study by comparing the sex of nestling birds determined using three techniques. These nestlings were collected at five sites, both contaminated and uncontaminated. Genetic sex was determined by cytogenetic techniques and phenotypic sex was determined by macroscopic and histologic examination of gonads. Differences between techniques resulted in a few instances of classifying genetic males as females by one or the other gonadal examinations. Sex ratios of the nestlings from the five sites were compared to binomial distributions assuming equal probabilities of males and females. Sex ratios of normal nestlings were not different from expected regardless of sex determination technique (P > 0.10). Deformed nestlings sexed cytogenetically or histologically did not differ from expected (P > 0.40), but deformed nestlings tended to be classified , macroscopically as females at a higher rate than expected (P = 0.092). The observed sex ratios obtained by macroscopic techniques did not differ between the 1968--1992 observational study and the designed study (P > 0.50). Histologic examination suggested two explanations for the skewed sex ratio: nestlings with undeterminable macroscopic sex usually had testes and, some gonads which grossly resembled ovaries were, in fact, testes. If phenotypic gender alteration is present in these birds, it is more evident at the gross structural level than at the histologic level.

  1. Sex hormones in the aging female.

    PubMed

    Steger, R W; Peluso, J J

    1987-12-01

    Aging of the human ovary results in a gradual diminution in ovarian steroid production, followed by an abrupt and almost complete cessation of both estrogen and progesterone production at the menopause. Although carefully controlled quantitative studies have not been published, it appears that the human reproductive axis still retains its ability to respond to steroid action. However, it still remains to be determined if alterations in cycle length and regularity preceding the menopause are due to changes in ovarian function or to subtle changes in the hypothalamic pituitary axis. More experimental evidence is available to describe the etiology of age-related reproductive dysfunction in laboratory rodents. From these studies, it appears that hypothalamic dysfunction is the principal cause for cessation of reproductive cycles. Recent evidence suggests that aging of the hypothalamus is due to cumulative effects of estrogen exposure over the course of the reproductive life span.

  2. Under what conditions do climate-driven sex ratios enhance versus diminish population persistence?

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Maria; Hone, Jim; Schwanz, Lisa E; Georges, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    For many species of reptile, crucial demographic parameters such as embryonic survival and individual sex (male or female) depend on ambient temperature during incubation. While much has been made of the role of climate on offspring sex ratios in species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the impact of variable sex ratio on populations is likely to depend on how limiting male numbers are to female fecundity in female-biased populations, and whether a climatic effect on embryonic survival overwhelms or interacts with sex ratio. To examine the sensitivity of populations to these interacting factors, we developed a generalized model to explore the effects of embryonic survival, hatchling sex ratio, and the interaction between these, on population size and persistence while varying the levels of male limitation. Populations with TSD reached a greater maximum number of females compared to populations with GSD, although this was often associated with a narrower range of persistence. When survival depended on temperature, TSD populations persisted over a greater range of temperatures than GSD populations. This benefit of TSD was greatly reduced by even modest male limitation, indicating very strong importance of this largely unmeasured biologic factor. Finally, when males were not limiting, a steep relationship between sex ratio and temperature favoured population persistence across a wider range of climates compared to the shallower relationships. The opposite was true when males were limiting – shallow relationships between sex ratio and temperature allowed greater persistence. The results highlight that, if we are to predict the response of populations with TSD to climate change, it is imperative to 1) accurately quantify the extent to which male abundance limits female fecundity, and 2) measure how sex ratios and peak survival coincide over climate. PMID:25512848

  3. RELATIONSHIP FORMATION AND STABILITY IN EMERGING ADULTHOOD: DO SEX RATIOS MATTER?

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Tara D.; Manning, Wendy D.; Giordano, Peggy C.; Longmore, Monica A.

    2013-01-01

    Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage—transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships—is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS) and the 2000 census, this study assesses whether sex ratios influence the formation and stability of emerging adults’ romantic relationships. Findings show that relationship formation is unaffected by partner availability, yet the presence of partners increases women’s odds of cohabiting, decreases men’s odds of cohabiting, and increases number of dating partners and cheating among men. It appears that sex ratios influence not only transitions in and out of marriage, but also the process through which individuals search for and evaluate partners prior to marriage. PMID:24265510

  4. RELATIONSHIP FORMATION AND STABILITY IN EMERGING ADULTHOOD: DO SEX RATIOS MATTER?

    PubMed

    Warner, Tara D; Manning, Wendy D; Giordano, Peggy C; Longmore, Monica A

    2011-01-01

    Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage-transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships-is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS) and the 2000 census, this study assesses whether sex ratios influence the formation and stability of emerging adults' romantic relationships. Findings show that relationship formation is unaffected by partner availability, yet the presence of partners increases women's odds of cohabiting, decreases men's odds of cohabiting, and increases number of dating partners and cheating among men. It appears that sex ratios influence not only transitions in and out of marriage, but also the process through which individuals search for and evaluate partners prior to marriage.

  5. Sex ratio shift in offspring of male fixed-wing naval aviation officers.

    PubMed

    Baczuk, Rebecca; Biascan, Anthony; Grossgold, Erik; Isaacson, Ari; Spencer, Joel; Wisotzky, Eric

    2009-05-01

    The concept that aviators father more daughters than sons is a persistent rumor within aviation circles. This study was designed to determine the sex ratio among offspring of male fixed-wing naval aviation officers and to look for associations between sex ratio, flight hours, and mission. Through an online questionnaire, we asked for gender and date of birth of the child, monthly flying hours during the 4 months before conception, and the type of aircraft flown. Analysis revealed that the sex ratio of offspring from all participants in our study was not statistically significantly different from the general population. However, a significant sex ratio shift favoring daughters existed as the officer flew more hours during the 11th month before birth. As the implications of this are unknown, officers should be counseled that their chance of having a son or daughter is no different than the general population.

  6. Maternal Lineage of Warmblood Mares Contributes to Variation of Gestation Length and Bias of Foal Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Kuhl, J.; Stock, K. F.; Wulf, M.; Aurich, C.

    2015-01-01

    Maternal lineage influences performance traits in horses. This is probably caused by differences in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transferred to the offspring via the oocyte. In the present study, we investigated if reproductive traits with high variability—gestation length and fetal sex ratio—are influenced by maternal lineage. Data from 142 Warmblood mares from the Brandenburg State Stud at Neustadt (Dosse), Germany, were available for the study. Mares were grouped according to their maternal lineage. Influences on the reproduction parameters gestation length and sex ratio of offspring were analyzed by simple and multiple analyses of variance. A total of 786 cases were included. From the 142 mares, 119 were assigned to six maternal lineages with n≥10 mares per lineage, and 23 mares belonged to smaller maternal lineages. The mean number of live foals produced per mare was 4.6±3.6 (±SD). Live foal rate was 83.5%. Mean gestation length was 338.5±8.9 days (±SD) with a range of 313 to 370 days. Gestation length was affected by maternal lineage (p<0.001). Gestation length was also significantly influenced by the individual mare, age of the mare, year of breeding, month of breeding and sex of the foal (p<0.05). Of the 640 foals born alive at term, 48% were male and 52% female. Mare age group and maternal lineage significantly influenced the sex ratio of the foals (p<0.05). It is concluded that maternal lineage influences reproductive parameters with high variation such as gestation length and foal sex ratio in horses. In young primiparous and aged mares, the percentage of female offspring is higher than the expected 1:1 ratio. PMID:26436555

  7. Food item use by coyote sex and age classes

    SciTech Connect

    Cypher, B.L.; Spencer, K.A.; Scrivner, J.H.

    1995-10-01

    Food item use by coyotes was compared between sexes and among age classes at the Naval Petroleum Reserves, California. Item use did not differ significantly between males and females. Although leporid was the item most frequently used by all age classes, item use differed significantly between pups (< 1 year), yearlings (1 year), and adults (> 1 year), probably due to differential use of secondary items. Variation in item use among age classes could potentially bias results of coyote food habit studies.

  8. Sex ratios among infants with birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2009.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Adrian M; Richardson, Sandra D; Browne, Marilyn L; Carmichael, Suzan L; Canfield, Mark A; VanZutphen, Alissa R; Anderka, Marlene T; Marshall, Elizabeth G; Druschel, Charlotte M

    2015-05-01

    A small number of population-based studies have examined sex differences among infants with birth defects. This study presents estimates of sex ratio for both isolated cases and those with multiple congenital anomalies, as well as by race/ethnicity. Male-female sex ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated for 25,952 clinically reviewed case infants included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997-2009), a large population-based case-control study of birth defects. The highest elevations in sex ratios (i.e., male preponderance) among isolated non-cardiac defects were for craniosynostosis (2.12), cleft lip with cleft palate (2.01), and cleft lip without cleft palate (1.78); the lowest sex ratios (female preponderance) were for choanal atresia (0.45), cloacal exstrophy (0.46), and holoprosencephaly (0.64). Among isolated cardiac defects, the highest sex ratios were for aortic stenosis (2.88), coarctation of the aorta (2.51), and d-transposition of the great arteries (2.34); the lowest were multiple ventricular septal defects (0.52), truncus arteriosus (0.63), and heterotaxia with congenital heart defect (0.64). Differences were observed by race/ethnicity for some but not for most types of birth defects. The sex differences we observed for specific defects, between those with isolated versus multiple defects, as well as by race/ethnicity, demonstrate patterns that may suggest etiology and improve classification.

  9. Sex ratios among infants with birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2009.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Adrian M; Richardson, Sandra D; Browne, Marilyn L; Carmichael, Suzan L; Canfield, Mark A; VanZutphen, Alissa R; Anderka, Marlene T; Marshall, Elizabeth G; Druschel, Charlotte M

    2015-05-01

    A small number of population-based studies have examined sex differences among infants with birth defects. This study presents estimates of sex ratio for both isolated cases and those with multiple congenital anomalies, as well as by race/ethnicity. Male-female sex ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated for 25,952 clinically reviewed case infants included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997-2009), a large population-based case-control study of birth defects. The highest elevations in sex ratios (i.e., male preponderance) among isolated non-cardiac defects were for craniosynostosis (2.12), cleft lip with cleft palate (2.01), and cleft lip without cleft palate (1.78); the lowest sex ratios (female preponderance) were for choanal atresia (0.45), cloacal exstrophy (0.46), and holoprosencephaly (0.64). Among isolated cardiac defects, the highest sex ratios were for aortic stenosis (2.88), coarctation of the aorta (2.51), and d-transposition of the great arteries (2.34); the lowest were multiple ventricular septal defects (0.52), truncus arteriosus (0.63), and heterotaxia with congenital heart defect (0.64). Differences were observed by race/ethnicity for some but not for most types of birth defects. The sex differences we observed for specific defects, between those with isolated versus multiple defects, as well as by race/ethnicity, demonstrate patterns that may suggest etiology and improve classification. PMID:25711982

  10. The sex ratio of children in relation to paternal preconceptional radiation dose: a study in Cumbria, northern England.

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, H O; Parker, L; Binks, K; Wakeford, R; Smith, J

    1996-01-01

    STUDY OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the occupational exposure to external ionising radiation of men employed at the Sellafield nuclear installation, West Cumbria, affects the sex of the children they subsequently father. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study using logistic regression to analyse the sex ratio, in particular in relation to paternal preconceptional irradiation. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The 260,060 singleton births between 1950 and 1989 to mothers resident in Cumbria, north west England. RESULTS: The sex ratio among children of men employed at any time at Sellafield was 1.094 (95% CI: 1.060, 1.128), significantly higher than that among other Cumbrian children, 1.055 (95% CI: 1.046, 1.063). There was an increased sex ratio of 1.396 (95% CI: 1.127, 1.729) in the 345 children whose fathers were estimated from annual dose summaries to have received more than 10 mSv of external radiation in the 90 days preceding conception, but no significant linear trend between sex ratio and 90 day paternal preconceptional dose was found. There was no significant association between sex ratio and the external dose accumulated before the 90 day period preceding conception. CONCLUSIONS: Men employed at Sellafield fathered a greater proportion of boys than would be expected for a Cumbrian population, which may be partly explained by their younger age distribution. A greater effect was observed in the fathers with recorded doses exceeding 10 mSv in the 90 days before conception. While this may reflect a true statistical association, it is also possible that it may be a chance finding due to imprecision in the dose estimates and consequent misclassification. PMID:9039384

  11. Intensity of nest defence is related to offspring sex ratio in the great tit Parus major.

    PubMed Central

    Radford, A N; Blakey, J K

    2000-01-01

    Nest-defence behaviour of passerines is a form of parental investment. Parents are selected, therefore, to vary the intensity of their nest defence with respect to the value of their offspring. Great tit, Parus major, males were tested for their defence response to both a nest predator and playback of a great tit chick distress call. The results from the two trials were similar; males gave more alarm calls and made more perch changes if they had larger broods and if they had a greater proportion of sons in their brood. This is the first evidence for a relationship between nest-defence intensity and offspring sex ratio. Paternal quality, size, age and condition, lay date and chick condition did not significantly influence any of the measured nest-defence parameters. PMID:10787154

  12. The sex ratio distortion in the human head louse is conserved over time

    PubMed Central

    Perotti, M Alejandra; Catalá, Silvia S; Ormeño, Analía del V; Żelazowska, Monika; Biliński, Szczepan M; Braig, Henk R

    2004-01-01

    Background At the turn of the 19th century the first observations of a female-biased sex ratio in broods and populations of the head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, had been reported. A study by Buxton in 1940 on the sex ratio of lice on prisoners in Ceylon is still today the subject of reanalyses. This sex ratio distortion had been detected in ten different countries. In the last sixty years no new data have been collected, especially on scalp infestations under economically and socially more developed conditions. Results Here we report a female bias of head lice in a survey of 480 school children in Argentina. This bias is independent of the intensity of the pediculosis, which makes local mate competition highly unlikely as the source of the aberrant sex ratio; however, other possible adaptive mechanisms cannot be discounted. These lice as well as lice from pupils in Britain were carrying several strains of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis, one of the most wide spread intracellular sex ratio distorters. Similar Wolbachia strains are also present in the pig louse, Haematopinus suis, suggesting that this endosymbiont might have a marked influence on the biology of the whole order. The presence of a related obligate nutritional bacterium in lice prevents the investigation of a causal link between sex ratio and endosymbionts. Conclusions Regardless of its origin, this sex ratio distortion in head lice that has been reported world wide, is stable over time and is a remarkable deviation from the stability of frequency-dependent selection of Fisher's sex ratio. A female bias first reported in 1898 is still present over a hundred years and a thousand generations later. PMID:15140268

  13. Age- and sex-related changes in the normal human external nose.

    PubMed

    Sforza, Chiarella; Grandi, Gaia; De Menezes, Marcio; Tartaglia, Gianluca M; Ferrario, Virgilio F

    2011-01-30

    The objective of this study was to measure: (1) normal sex-related dimensions of external nose (linear distances, ratios, angles, volume and surface area); and (2) growth changes between childhood and old age. The three-dimensional coordinates of several soft-tissue landmarks on the external nose were obtained by a non-invasive, computerized digitizer in 519 male and 340 female healthy subjects aged 4-73 years. The subjects were divided into 11 non-overlapping age groups: for children and preadolescent subjects, 2-year spans were used, while larger intervals were used for adolescent and adult subjects. From the landmarks, nasal volume and external surface area; nasal and alar base widths, nasal height, nasal bridge length, philtrum length, nasal tip protrusion, right and left nostril lengths, superior and inferior nostril widths; nasal tip protrusion-to-nasal height, and nasal width-to-nasal height ratios; nasal convexity, alar slope, and nasal tip angles were calculated, and averaged for age and sex. Comparisons were performed by factorial analysis of variance. On average, men had larger nasal external volume and area, linear distances and nasal width-to-height ratio than women (p<0.01); no sex differences were found for the angles and the nasal tip protrusion-to-nasal height ratio. Age significantly influenced all analyzed measurements (p<0.001): nasal volume, area, linear distances increased from childhood to old age, while the nasal tip angle decreased as a function of age. No consistent age related patterns were found for the ratios and the nasal convexity and alar slope angles. Men and women had different age related patterns, with significant sex by age interactions (p<0.001). Overall, in most occasions male increments in nasal dimensions were larger than female ones. Data collected in the present investigation could serve as a database for the quantitative description of human nasal morphology during normal growth, development and aging. Forensic

  14. Persistence of an extreme sex-ratio bias in a natural population.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Emily A; Hurst, Gregory D D

    2004-04-27

    The sex ratio is a key parameter in the evolution and ecology of a species. Selfish genetic elements that bias the sex ratio of affected individuals are well known and characterized, but their effect on populations has been considered limited, because either the element does not achieve high prevalence or the host rapidly evolves resistance to the distorting element, reducing its prevalence. We tested whether the host necessarily prevails by using a butterfly system where records from the early part of the 20th century reported extreme sex-ratio bias in nature. We reexamined this population and found the bias was present today, 400 generations after the original record, with a population sex ratio of 100 females per male. The sex-ratio bias was associated with the presence of a heritable male-killing Wolbachia infection in 99% of adult females, against which the host butterfly has failed to evolve resistance. The resultant dearth of males causes an average 57% reduction in the reproductive output of adult females. Persistence of the population despite the very high frequency of the sex-ratio distorter appears to be associated with the ability of males to mate >50 times in their life combined with a high intrinsic rate of increase of the species.

  15. Can environmental or occupational hazards alter the sex ratio at birth? A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Terrell, Metrecia L.; Hartnett, Kathleen P.; Marcus, Michele

    2011-01-01

    More than 100 studies have examined whether environmental or occupational exposures of parents affect the sex ratio of their offspring at birth. For this review, we searched Medline and Web of Science using the terms ‘sex ratio at birth’ and ‘sex ratio and exposure’ for all dates, and reviewed bibliographies of relevant studies to find additional articles. This review focuses on exposures that have been the subject of at least four studies including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, pesticides, lead and other metals, radiation, boron, and g-forces. For paternal exposures, only dioxins and PCBs were consistently associated with sex ratios higher or lower than the expected 1.06. Dioxins were associated with a decreased proportion of male births, whereas PCBs were associated with an increased proportion of male births. There was limited evidence for a decrease in the proportion of male births after paternal exposure to DBCP, lead, methylmercury, non-ionizing radiation, ionizing radiation treatment for childhood cancer, boron, or g-forces. Few studies have found higher or lower sex ratios associated with maternal exposures. Studies in humans and animals have found a reduction in the number of male births associated with lower male fertility, but the mechanism by which environmental hazards might change the sex ratio has not yet been established. PMID:24149027

  16. Replicated origin of female-biased adult sex ratio in introduced populations of the trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Arendt, Jeffrey D; Reznick, David N; López-Sepulcre, Andres

    2014-08-01

    There are many theoretical and empirical studies explaining variation in offspring sex ratio but relatively few that explain variation in adult sex ratio. Adult sex ratios are important because biased sex ratios can be a driver of sexual selection and will reduce effective population size, affecting population persistence and shapes how populations respond to natural selection. Previous work on guppies (Poecilia reticulata) gives mixed results, usually showing a female-biased adult sex ratio. However, a detailed analysis showed that this bias varied dramatically throughout a year and with no consistent sex bias. We used a mark-recapture approach to examine the origin and consistency of female-biased sex ratio in four replicated introductions. We show that female-biased sex ratio arises predictably and is a consequence of higher male mortality and longer female life spans with little effect of offspring sex ratio. Inconsistencies with previous studies are likely due to sampling methods and sampling design, which should be less of an issue with mark-recapture techniques. Together with other long-term mark-recapture studies, our study suggests that bias in offspring sex ratio rarely contributes to adult sex ratio in vertebrates. Rather, sex differences in adult survival rates and longevity determine vertebrate adult sex ratio.

  17. Sex ratio of White Stork Ciconia ciconia in different environments of Poland.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Piotr; Grochowska, Ewa; Mroczkowski, Sławomir; Jerzak, Leszek; Kasprzak, Mariusz; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Woźniak, Alina; Ciebiera, Olaf; Markulak, Damian

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the variation in sex ratio of White Stork Ciconia ciconia chicks from differentiated Poland environments. We took under a consideration the impact of Cd and Pb for establish differences among sex ratio in chicks. We also study multiplex PCR employment for establish gender considerations. We collected blood samples via venipuncture of brachial vein of chicks during 2006-2008 breeding seasons at the Odra meadows (SW-Poland; control), which were compared with those from suburbs (SW-Poland), and from copper smelter (S-Poland; polluted) and from swamps near Baltic Sea. We found differences among sex ratio in White Stork chicks from types of environment. Male participation in sex structure is importantly higher in each type of environment excluded suburban areas. Differences in White Stork sex ratio according to the degree of environmental degradation expressed by Cd and Pb and sex-environment-metal interactions testify about the impact of these metals upon sex ratios in storks. Simultaneously, as a result of multiplex PCR, 18S ribosome gene, which served as internal control of PCR, was amplified in male and female storks. It means that it is possible to use primers designed for chicken in order to replicate this fragment of genome in White Stork. Moreover, the use of Oriental White Stork Ciconia boyciana W- chromosome specific primers makes it possible to determine the sex of C. ciconia chicks. Many factors make sex ratio of White Stork changes in subsequent breeding seasons, which depend significantly on specific environmental parameters that shape individual detailed defense mechanisms. PMID:25940461

  18. Trends in Triathlon Performance: Effects of Sex and Age.

    PubMed

    Lepers, Romuald; Knechtle, Beat; Stapley, Paul J

    2013-09-01

    The influences of sex and age upon endurance performance have previously been documented for both running and swimming. A number of recent studies have investigated how sex and age influence triathlon performance, a sport that combines three disciplines (swimming, cycling and running), with competitions commonly lasting between 2 (short distance: 1.5-km swim, 40-km cycle and 10-km run) and 8 h (Ironman distance: 3.8-km swim,180-km cycle and 42-km run) for elite triathletes. Age and sex influences upon performance have also been investigated for ultra-triathlons, with distances corresponding to several Ironman distances and lasting several days, and for off-road triathlons combining swimming, mountain biking and trail running. Triathlon represents an intriguing alternative model for analysing the effects of age and sex upon endurance and ultra-endurance ([6 h) performance because sex differences and age-related declines in performance can be analysed in the same individuals across the three separate disciplines. The relative participation of both females and masters athletes (age[40 years) in triathlon has increased consistently over the past 25 years. Sex differences in triathlon performance are also known to differ between the modes of locomotion adopted (swimming, cycling or running) for both elite and non-elite triathletes. Generally, time differences between sexes in swimming have been shown to be smaller on average than during cycling and running. Both physiological and morphological factors contribute to explaining these findings. Performance density (i.e. the time difference between the winner and tenth-placed competitor) has progressively improved (time differences have decreased) for international races over the past two decades for both males and females, with performance density now very similar for both sexes. For age-group triathletes, sex differences in total triathlon performance time increases with age. However,the possible difference in age

  19. Geographical Variations in Sex Ratio Trends over Time in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Trojano, Maria; Lucchese, Guglielmo; Graziano, Giusi; Taylor, Bruce V.; Simpson, Steve; Lepore, Vito; Grand’Maison, Francois; Duquette, Pierre; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Grammond, Pierre; Amato, Maria Pia; Bergamaschi, Roberto; Giuliani, Giorgio; Boz, Cavit; Hupperts, Raymond; Van Pesch, Vincent; Lechner-Scott, Jeannette; Cristiano, Edgardo; Fiol, Marcela; Oreja-Guevara, Celia; Saladino, Maria Laura; Verheul, Freek; Slee, Mark; Paolicelli, Damiano; Tortorella, Carla; D’Onghia, Mariangela; Iaffaldano, Pietro; Direnzo, Vita; Butzkueven, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Background A female/male (F/M) ratio increase over time in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients was demonstrated in many countries around the world. So far, a direct comparison of sex ratio time-trends among MS populations from different geographical areas was not carried out. Objective In this paper we assessed and compared sex ratio trends, over a 60-year span, in MS populations belonging to different latitudinal areas. Methods Data of a cohort of 15,996 (F = 11,290; M = 4,706) definite MS with birth years ranging from 1930 to 1989 were extracted from the international MSBase registry and the New Zealand MS database. Gender ratios were calculated by six decades based on year of birth and were adjusted for the F/M born-alive ratio derived from the respective national registries of births. Results Adjusted sex ratios showed a significant increase from the first to the last decade in the whole MS sample (from 2.35 to 2.73; p = 0.03) and in the subgroups belonging to the areas between 83° N and 45° N (from 1.93 to 4.55; p<0.0001) and between 45° N to 35° N (from 1.46 to 2.30; p<0.05) latitude, while a sex ratio stability over time was found in the subgroup from areas between 12° S and 55° S latitude. The sex ratio increase mainly affected relapsing-remitting (RR) MS. Conclusions Our results confirm a general sex ratio increase over time in RRMS and also demonstrate a latitudinal gradient of this increase. These findings add useful information for planning case-control studies aimed to explore sex-related factors responsible for MS development. PMID:23133550

  20. The Old-Age Healthy Dependency Ratio in Europe.

    PubMed

    Muszyńska, Magdalena M; Rau, Roland

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study is to answer the question of whether improvements in the health of the elderly in European countries could compensate for population ageing on the supply side of the labour market. We propose a state-of-health-specific (additive) decomposition of the old-age dependency ratio into an old-age healthy dependency ratio and an old-age unhealthy dependency ratio in order to participate in a discussion of the significance of changes in population health to compensate for the ageing of the labour force. Applying the proposed indicators to the Eurostat's population projection for the years 2010-2050, and assuming there will be equal improvements in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy at birth, we discuss various scenarios concerning future of the European labour force. While improvements in population health are anticipated during the years 2010-2050, the growth in the number of elderly people in Europe may be expected to lead to a rise in both healthy and unhealthy dependency ratios. The healthy dependency ratio is, however, projected to make up the greater part of the old-age dependency ratio. In the European countries in 2006, the value of the old-age dependency ratio was 25. But in the year 2050, with a positive migration balance over the years 2010-2050, there would be 18 elderly people in poor health plus 34 in good health per 100 people in the current working age range of 15-64. In the scenarios developed in this study, we demonstrate that improvements in health and progress in preventing disability will not, by themselves, compensate for the ageing of the workforce. However, coupled with a positive migration balance, at the level and with the age structure assumed in the Eurostat's population projections, these developments could ease the effect of population ageing on the supply side of the European labour market.

  1. Transgenerational plasticity mitigates the impact of global warming to offspring sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2015-08-01

    Global warming poses a threat to organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination because it can affect operational sex ratios. Using a multigenerational experiment with a marine fish, we provide the first evidence that parents developing from early life at elevated temperatures can adjust their offspring gender through nongenetic and nonbehavioural means. However, this adjustment was not possible when parents reproduced, but did not develop, at elevated temperatures. Complete restoration of the offspring sex ratio occurred when parents developed at 1.5 °C above the present-day average temperature for one generation. However, only partial improvement in the sex ratio occurred at 3.0 °C above average conditions, even after two generations, suggesting a limitation to transgenerational plasticity when developmental temperature is substantially increased. This study highlights the potential for transgenerational plasticity to ameliorate some impacts of climate change and that development from early life may be essential for expression of transgenerational plasticity in some traits.

  2. Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtles captured near Steinhatchee, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geis, A.A.; Barichivich, W.J.; Wibbels, T.; Coyne, M.; Landry, A.M.; Owens, D.

    2005-01-01

    The Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world, and it possesses temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Sex ratios produced under TSD can vary widely and can affect the reproductive ecology of a population. Therefore, sex ratios produced from TSD are of ecological and conservation interest. The current study validated and utilized a testosterone radioimmunoassay (RIA) to examine the sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee, Florida. Testosterone levels were measured in blood samples collected from juvenile Kemp's Ridleys captured over a three-year period. Results of this study indicate that a significant female bias (approximately 3.7:1) occurs in the aggregation of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee.

  3. Offspring sex ratio is related to paternal train elaboration and yolk corticosterone in peafowl.

    PubMed

    Pike, Thomas W; Petrie, Marion

    2005-06-22

    Several recent experimental studies have provided strong evidence for the ability of birds to manipulate the sex ratio of their offspring prior to laying. Using a captive population of peafowl (Pavo cristatus), we tested experimentally the effects of paternal attractiveness on offspring sex ratio, and related sex ratio deviations to egg-yolk concentrations of testosterone, 17beta-estradiol and corticosterone. When females were mated to males whose attractiveness had been experimentally reduced by removing prominent eyespot feathers from their trains, they produced significantly more female offspring, had significantly higher yolk corticosterone concentrations and tended to have lower levels of yolk testosterone than when mated to the same males with their full complement of feathers. Concentrations of 17beta-estradiol did not vary consistently with sex ratio biases. These findings add to the small number of studies providing experimental evidence that female birds can control the primary sex ratio of their offspring in response to paternal attractiveness, and highlight the possibility that corticosterone and perhaps testosterone are involved in the sex manipulation process in birds.

  4. Maternal rank and local resource competition do not predict birth sex ratios in wild baboons.

    PubMed

    Silk, Joan B; Willoughby, Elisabeth; Brown, Gillian R

    2005-04-22

    We test two models of adaptive adjustment of birth sex ratios that are expected to apply to Cercopithecine primate species. It has been predicted that when maternal investment differentially influences the reproductive success of male and female offspring, females in good condition will bias investment in favour of the sex that gains the greatest fitness returns from additional investment. This hypothesis was subsequently amended to take into account the effects of local resource competition on maternal investment strategies of primate females. This body of theory has been applied to primates with contradictory results, prompting some to question the conclusion that primate females facultatively adjust birth sex ratios in an adaptive manner. Here, we present a meta-analysis of the relationship between maternal rank, birth sex ratios and local resource competition in 36 groups of wild savannah baboons, Papio cynocephalus. The results do not support predictions derived from either model of facultative sex ratio adjustment, and we conclude that there is currently no evidence that baboon birth sex ratios are adjusted in an adaptive manner.

  5. Offspring sex ratio is related to paternal train elaboration and yolk corticosterone in peafowl.

    PubMed

    Pike, Thomas W; Petrie, Marion

    2005-06-22

    Several recent experimental studies have provided strong evidence for the ability of birds to manipulate the sex ratio of their offspring prior to laying. Using a captive population of peafowl (Pavo cristatus), we tested experimentally the effects of paternal attractiveness on offspring sex ratio, and related sex ratio deviations to egg-yolk concentrations of testosterone, 17beta-estradiol and corticosterone. When females were mated to males whose attractiveness had been experimentally reduced by removing prominent eyespot feathers from their trains, they produced significantly more female offspring, had significantly higher yolk corticosterone concentrations and tended to have lower levels of yolk testosterone than when mated to the same males with their full complement of feathers. Concentrations of 17beta-estradiol did not vary consistently with sex ratio biases. These findings add to the small number of studies providing experimental evidence that female birds can control the primary sex ratio of their offspring in response to paternal attractiveness, and highlight the possibility that corticosterone and perhaps testosterone are involved in the sex manipulation process in birds. PMID:17148167

  6. [Sex Specificity in Age-Related Thyroid Hormone Responsiveness].

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Similar to other systems, the endocrine system is affected by aging. Thyroid hormone, the action of which is affected by many factors, has been shown to be associated with longevity. The most useful marker for assessment of the thyroid hormone action is the TSH level. Although age and sex are believed to modify the pituitary set point or response to the free thyroid hormone concentration, the precise age- and sex-dependent responses to thyroid hormone have yet to be reported. In this lecture, molecular aspects of resistance to thyroid hormone are initially overviewed. After presentation of the evidence that the TSH-thyroid hormone axis is evolutionarily modified, and that negative feedback mechanisms may start to play roles in homeostatic regulation at the time of delivery, the rationale of age-dependent thyroid hormone resistance is introduced. To assess the age- and sex-dependent resistance to thyroid hormone, the index is provided by the formula based on the relationship between thyroid hormone and TSH levels. The index is calculated by the results of thyroid function tests obtained from the two individual clinical groups. From the results, there were negative relationships between the free T3 resistance index and age in males of both groups, while there were no apparent relationships in females. These findings indicate that there is a male-specific response to thyroid hormone with aging. Furthermore, the specific features of the response may not be affected by environmental factors such as the presence of disorders or medical treatments. PMID:27192800

  7. Sex ratio estimation and survival analysis for Orthetrum coerulescens (Odonata, Libellulidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Juillerat, L.

    2004-01-01

    There is controversy over whether uneven sex ratios observed in mature dragonfly populations are a mere artifact resulting from the higher observability of males. Previous studies have at best made indirect inference about sex ratios by analysis of survival or recapture rates. Here, we obtain direct estimates of sex ratio from capture?recapture data based on the Cormack?Jolly?Seber model. We studied Orthetrum coerulescens (Fabricius, 1798) at three sites in the Swiss Jura Mountains over an entire activity period. Recapture rates per 5-day interval were 3.5 times greater for males (0.67, SE 0.02) than for females (0.19, SE 0.02). At two sites, recapture rate increased over the season for males and was constant for females, and at one site it decreased with precipitation for both sexes. In addition, recapture rate was higher with higher temperature for males only. We found no evidence for higher male survival rates in any population. Survival per 5-day interval for both sexes was estimated to be 0.77 (95% CI 0.75?0.79) without significant site or time-specific variation. There were clear effects of temperature (positive) and precipitation (negative) on survival rate at two sites. Direct estimates of sex ratios were not significantly different from 1 for any time interval. Hence, the observed male-biased sex ratio in adult O. coerulescens was an artifact resulting from the better observability of males. The method presented in this paper is applicable to sex ratio estimation in any kind of animal.

  8. Age and sex graded helminth infections in a Nigerian village.

    PubMed

    Arinola, O; Fawole, O

    1995-02-01

    Prevalence of helminth parasites was carried out in both male and female villagers graded into three age groups (5-14 years, 15-25 years, 26-55 years). Children between 5 and 14 years of age had the highest prevalence of Ascaris, Schistosoma haematobium and Trichuris while the villagers between 26-55 years of age had lowest prevalence of these parasites. However, hookworms were highly common among the villagers aged between 26 and 55 years and least common among the school children aged between 5 and 14 years. Female children between the ages of 5 and 14 years and males of the same age group were highly infested with Ascaris and Trichuris. This finding in a Nigerian village suggested that helminth infestation is age and sex dependent which is therefore a factor of the frequency in host-parasite contact determined by mode of life of the parasites and the hosts. PMID:7796748

  9. Fetal Habituation Performance: Gestational Age and Sex Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCorry, Noleen K.; Hepper, Peter G.

    2007-01-01

    Habituation is the decrement in response to repeated stimulation. Fetal habituation performance may reflect the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) prenatally. However, basic characteristics of the prenatal habituation phenomena remain unclear, such as the relationship with gestational age (GA) and fetal sex. The current study…

  10. Evolutionary implications for the determination of gametocyte sex ratios under fecundity variation for the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Teboh-Ewungkem, Miranda I; Yuster, Thomas

    2016-11-01

    We investigate sex ratio determination strategies for the Malaria parasite based on putative changes in its male fecundity over the lifetime of an infection, and how such strategies might have evolved. We model fitness using the incomplete fertilization limit developed in Teboh-Ewungkem and Yuster (2010). We divide the infection lifetime of a strain into two periods, assume each human is infected by two different strains, and assume that there are two different strategies present among the many strains in the general malaria parasite population. A unique parameter dependent ESS exists for all parameter values in both of our main models, with many such strategies unbeatable. These strategies produce both male and female biased population sex ratios with female bias predominating over most of the parameter space. The first model (SKM) suggests that strains without the ability to detect characteristics of other strains present could still have evolved strategies to vary sex ratio over their lifetimes, and the second model (DKM) suggests strains with detection abilities might have evolved after that. Our analysis suggests that once the ability to detect the population sizes and fecundities of other strains has developed, detection of their sex ratio choices confers no additional selective advantage in that a DKM ESS is still an ESS among sex ratio detecting strategies. The sex ratio choices for each DKM ESS are given by the equilibrium values of the parameter equivalent sex ratio detecting strategy described in Teboh-Ewungkem and Wang (2012), in the case where two strains employing that strategy encounter each other.

  11. Do differences in Toxoplasma prevalence influence global variation in secondary sex ratio? Preliminary ecological regression study.

    PubMed

    Dama, Madhukar S; Martinec Nováková, Lenka; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2016-08-01

    Sex of the fetus is genetically determined such that an equal number of sons and daughters are born in large populations. However, the ratio of female to male births across human populations varies significantly. Many factors have been implicated in this. The theory that natural selection should favour female offspring under suboptimal environmental conditions implies that pathogens may affect secondary sex ratio (ratio of male to female births). Using regression models containing 13 potential confounding factors, we have found that variation of the secondary sex ratio can be predicted by seroprevalence of Toxoplasma across 94 populations distributed across African, American, Asian and European continents. Toxoplasma seroprevalence was the third strongest predictor of secondary sex ratio, β = -0·097, P < 0·01, after son preference, β = 0·261, P < 0·05, and fertility, β = -0·145, P < 0·001. Our preliminary results suggest that Toxoplasma gondii infection could be one of the most important environmental factors influencing the global variation of offspring sex ratio in humans. The effect of latent toxoplasmosis on public health could be much more serious than it is usually supposed to be. PMID:27350331

  12. Phenology, sex ratio, and spatial distribution among dioecious species of Trichilia (Meliaceae).

    PubMed

    Morellato, L P C

    2004-07-01

    The flowering, sex ratio, and spatial distribution of four dioecious species of Trichilia (Meliaceae) were studied in a semi-deciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. All reproductive trees (T. clausseni, T. pallida and T. catigua) with dbh > or = 5 cm within a 1-ha plot were collected, sexed, mapped and, for individuals of each species, the distances to the nearest neighbour of the same and opposite sex were measured. For the shrub species T. elegans (dbh < 5 cm), all reproductive individuals were sampled randomly in 10 samples of 10 x 10 m. The reproductive phenology was observed at weekly to monthly intervals from May 1988 to January 1990. The species are strictly dioecious, did not present any sex-mixed trees or sex switching during the study, and sex ratio did not differ significantly from 1 : 1. The size distributions and the relative size variation were not significantly different between sexes. There was no significant segregation or clumping between individuals of either sex and no fruit production without pollination. Onset of flowering and flowering peak were synchronous between male and female plants for all species studied. Flower synchrony was related to outcrossing and pollinator attraction rather than climatic factors.

  13. Scale dependence of sex ratio in wild plant populations: implications for social selection.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Brian J; Augat, Malcolm E; Taylor, Douglas R; Brodie, Edmund D

    2016-03-01

    Social context refers to the composition of an individual's social interactants, including potential mates. In spatially structured populations, social context can vary among individuals within populations, generating the opportunity for social selection to drive differences in fitness functions among individuals at a fine spatial scale. In sexually polymorphic plants, the local sex ratio varies at a fine scale and thus has the potential to generate this opportunity. We measured the spatial distribution of two wild populations of the gynodioecious plant Silene vulgaris and show that there is fine-scale heterogeneity in the local distribution of the sexes within these populations. We demonstrate that the largest variance in sex ratio is among nearest neighbors. This variance is greatly reduced as the spatial scale of social interactions increases. These patterns suggest the sex of neighbors has the potential to generate fine-scale differences in selection differentials among individuals. One of the most important determinants of social interactions in plants is the behavior of pollinators. These results suggest that the potential for selection arising from sex ratio will be greatest when pollen is shared among nearest neighbors. Future studies incorporating the movement of pollinators may reveal whether and how this fine-scale variance in sex ratio affects the fitness of individuals in these populations. PMID:26865952

  14. Inbreeding and Offspring Sex Ratio in the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Cheoropsis liberiensis) Population Kept in Zoological Gardens.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, Magdalena; Cwiertnia, Piotr; Borowska, Alicja; Barczak, Elżbieta; Szwaczkowski, Tomasz

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the inbreeding level and its impact on offspring sex ratio in the pygmy hippopotamus population kept in zoological gardens. Records of pygmy hippopotamus born between 1873-2013 were extracted from the international studbook. Totally, 1357 individuals originating from 148 breeding units were included (individuals with unknown sex were omitted). The offspring sex ratio is defined as the number of sons to the total number of progeny of each dam and sire. Spearman's rank correlation was employed to examine the relationships between the inbreeding level and offspring sex ratio. Inbreeding coefficients and individual increase in inbreeding coefficients (included as a linear co-variable) were examined as well as the geographic region and birth period using general linear models. The average inbreeding coefficient was 5.39%. The following sex proportion was observed for the inbred population: 57% and 43% for females and males, respectively. A significant relationship between inbreeding level of parents and their offspring sex ratio were estimated for European zoological gardens, whereas in others geographic regions the dependencies were insignificant.

  15. Inbreeding and Offspring Sex Ratio in the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Cheoropsis liberiensis) Population Kept in Zoological Gardens.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, Magdalena; Cwiertnia, Piotr; Borowska, Alicja; Barczak, Elżbieta; Szwaczkowski, Tomasz

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the inbreeding level and its impact on offspring sex ratio in the pygmy hippopotamus population kept in zoological gardens. Records of pygmy hippopotamus born between 1873-2013 were extracted from the international studbook. Totally, 1357 individuals originating from 148 breeding units were included (individuals with unknown sex were omitted). The offspring sex ratio is defined as the number of sons to the total number of progeny of each dam and sire. Spearman's rank correlation was employed to examine the relationships between the inbreeding level and offspring sex ratio. Inbreeding coefficients and individual increase in inbreeding coefficients (included as a linear co-variable) were examined as well as the geographic region and birth period using general linear models. The average inbreeding coefficient was 5.39%. The following sex proportion was observed for the inbred population: 57% and 43% for females and males, respectively. A significant relationship between inbreeding level of parents and their offspring sex ratio were estimated for European zoological gardens, whereas in others geographic regions the dependencies were insignificant. PMID:26103683

  16. The effect of 2n gametes on sex ratios in Actinidia.

    PubMed

    Seal, Alan G; Ferguson, A Ross; de Silva, H Nihal; Zhang, Jing-Li

    2012-09-01

    Sex can sometimes lead to complications. In some crops, 2n gametes have been exploited by plant breeders to transfer genetic variation between taxa of different ploidy levels. However, their role and use in dioecious genera have received relatively little attention. In the dioecious genus Actinidia (kiwifruit), seedling populations usually segregate equally for females and males as sex is determined by an XX female/XY male system. While fertilization involving 2n egg cells is not expected to affect the sex ratios of progenies, fertilization involving 2n pollen is likely to produce progenies with excess males. The extent of sex ratio distortion will depend on the relative contributions of first and second division restitution, and the frequency and location of cross-overs in meiosis. In this study, seedlings recovered from crosses between females of hexaploid Actinidia deliciosa and males of two diploid species, Actinidia chinensis and Actinidia eriantha, included a proportion of pentaploid hybrids presumably derived from fertilization involving 2n pollen. Most of these pentaploids were male, and a proportion of them were likely to be carrying two Y chromosomes. If used as parents in further crosses, males with multiple Y chromosomes are likely to cause distorted sex ratios in their immediate progenies. In dioecious genera such as Actinidia, the effects on sex ratios of different mechanisms of ploidy change need to be taken into account when considering the evolution of polyploidy and the design of breeding strategies involving ploidy manipulation.

  17. An Extraordinary Host-Specific Sex Ratio in an Avian Louse (Phthiraptera: Insecta)--Chemical Distortion?

    PubMed

    Douglas, H D; Malenke, J R

    2015-08-01

    Distortions of sex ratios and sexual traits from synthetic chemicals have been well documented; however, there is little evidence for such phenomena associated with naturally occurring chemical exposures. We reasoned that chemical secretions of vertebrates could contribute to skewed sex ratios in ectoparasitic insects due to differences in susceptibility among the sexes. For example, among ectoparasitic lice the female is generally the larger sex. Smaller males may be more susceptible to chemical effects. We studied sex ratios of lice on two sympatric species of colonial seabirds. Crested auklets (Aethia cristatella) secrete a strong smelling citrus-like odorant composed of aldehydes while a closely related congener the least auklet (Aethia pusilla) lacks these compounds. Each auklet hosts three species of lice, two of which are shared in common. We found that the sex ratio of one louse species, Quadraceps aethereus (Giebel), was highly skewed on crested auklets 1:69 (males: females), yet close to unity on least auklets (1:0.97). We suggest that a host-specific effect contributes to this difference, such as the crested auklet's chemical odorant.

  18. Age difference asymmetry and a two-sex perspective.

    PubMed

    Ni Bhrolchain, M

    1992-01-01

    Age differences in marriage are examined using data from the Marriage and Divorce Statistics, Series FM2, 1966-87, in England and Wales. Specifically, there is a description of differentials in the spousal age gap by sex and marital status of the partner, trends in the age differences between spouses, the components of change in age differences, i.e., changing age at marriage, and changes in partner's marital status. Data were unavailable to answer whether or not changes in opportunity or constraint (shifts in age/sex distribution) or changing preferences in relation to age differences or both affected the shifts, but plausible interpretations are provided. The difference in ages is evident in the pattern of mean age difference in 1987 for single brides (3.0 years) and the mean gap for bachelors (1.6 years). These figures are still different from the 2.1-year gap in the marriages of 2 single partners or the 2.6-year gap for all marriages. The mean age of 1st marriages is 2.2 for both sexes, 1.6 for men and 3.0 for women. for 2nd and later marriages the pattern is reversed, where divorced women remarry to men averaging 1.7 years older while divorced men remarry a woman 5.3 years younger. The gaps among the widowed are 1.9 years for women and 6.7 years for men. The reasons for the differentials are that not all single men marry single women and the reverse, and that age differences depend on sex, marriage order for both sexes, and marital status of the partner. The longitudinal pattern of age differences being larger in remarriages than in 1st marriages is exhibited for male remarriages only; for women in remarriages the age difference is shortened from 3.0 years to 1.7 years. In comparing time trends, 1) the mean age gap is consistently larger in women's than in men's 1st marriages with a larger gap appearing closer to the present; 2) the age differences have fluctuated over time; 3) the gap in men's and women's marriages were similar up to 1970 and, between 1970

  19. Calibrating recruitment estimates for mourning doves from harvest age ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, David A.; Otis, David L.

    2010-01-01

    We examined results from the first national-scale effort to estimate mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) age ratios and developed a simple, efficient, and generalizable methodology for calibrating estimates. Our method predicted age classes of unknown-age wings based on backward projection of molt distributions from fall harvest collections to preseason banding. We estimated 1) the proportion of late-molt individuals in each age class, and 2) the molt rates of juvenile and adult birds. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated our estimator was minimally biased. We estimated model parameters using 96,811 wings collected from hunters and 42,189 birds banded during preseason from 68 collection blocks in 22 states during the 2005–2007 hunting seasons. We also used estimates to derive a correction factor, based on latitude and longitude of samples, which can be applied to future surveys. We estimated differential vulnerability of age classes to harvest using data from banded birds and applied that to harvest age ratios to estimate population age ratios. Average, uncorrected age ratio of known-age wings for states that allow hunting was 2.25 (SD 0.85) juveniles:adult, and average, corrected ratio was 1.91 (SD 0.68), as determined from harvest age ratios from an independent sample of 41,084 wings collected from random hunters in 2007 and 2008. We used an independent estimate of differential vulnerability to adjust corrected harvest age ratios and estimated the average population age ratio as 1.45 (SD 0.52), a direct measure of recruitment rates. Average annual recruitment rates were highest east of the Mississippi River and in the northwestern United States, with lower rates between. Our results demonstrate a robust methodology for calibrating recruitment estimates for mourning doves and represent the first large-scale estimates of recruitment for the species. Our methods can be used by managers to correct future harvest survey data to generate recruitment estimates for use in

  20. Muscularity as a function of species, sex and age in small mammals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pace, N.; Rahlmann, D. F.; Smith, A. H.

    1984-01-01

    Changes in the body skeletal muscle mass SMM (measured as a function of the ratio between the body creatine mass and the fat-free muscle creatine), and in muscularity (expressed as the ratio of SMM to fat-free body mass) were studied as functions of age, sex, and species in mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig, and rabbit. Six animals of each sex were examined in eight age cohorts ranging from 1 to 24 months. Both species and age factors affect SMM. Strong sexual dimorphism in the SMM changes with age was displayed by mouse, rat, and guinea pig, whereas the hamster and rabbit were statistically monomorphic. The mouse, rat, and hamster attain a maximal SMM at about 1 year of age, whereas in the guinea pig and rabbit the decrease in SMM starts after 2 years. The value of muscularity reached a peak at age of 2-3 months in all animals of both sexes, with a pronounced difference among the species. The mouse emerged as the most muscular, while the guinea pig the least muscular, of all species.

  1. Age of sex-determining mechanisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    WITSCHI, E

    1959-08-14

    Certain characteristic patterns of physiologic sex determination are not causally linked with types of genic and chromosomal constitution (XX-XY or ZW-ZZ). The observed widespread but not universal parallelism in the distribution of genetic and physiologic patterns among vertebrate groups expresses genealogic relationship. On the basis of this interpretation one may estimate the approximate evolutionary age of the mechanism of genetic sex determination. It is concluded that in all tetrapod vertebrates these mechanisms originated during the Jurassic period. Environmental conditions seem to affect the progress of this evolution. PMID:13675759

  2. Age of sex-determining mechanisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    WITSCHI, E

    1959-08-14

    Certain characteristic patterns of physiologic sex determination are not causally linked with types of genic and chromosomal constitution (XX-XY or ZW-ZZ). The observed widespread but not universal parallelism in the distribution of genetic and physiologic patterns among vertebrate groups expresses genealogic relationship. On the basis of this interpretation one may estimate the approximate evolutionary age of the mechanism of genetic sex determination. It is concluded that in all tetrapod vertebrates these mechanisms originated during the Jurassic period. Environmental conditions seem to affect the progress of this evolution.

  3. Widespread vertical transmission and associated host sex-ratio distortion within the eukaryotic phylum Microspora.

    PubMed

    Terry, Rebecca S; Smith, Judith E; Sharpe, Rosie G; Rigaud, Thierry; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Ironside, Joseph E; Rollinson, David; Bouchon, Didier; MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A; Dunn, Alison M

    2004-09-01

    Vertical transmission (VT) and associated manipulation of host reproduction are widely reported among prokaryotic endosymbionts. Here, we present evidence for widespread use of VT and associated sex-ratio distortion in a eukaryotic phylum. The Microspora are an unusual and diverse group of eukaryotic parasites that infect all animal phyla. Following our initial description of a microsporidian that feminizes its crustacean host, we survey the diversity and distribution of VT within the Microspora. We find that vertically transmitted microsporidia are ubiquitous in the amphipod hosts sampled and that they are also diverse, with 11 species of microsporidia detected within 16 host species. We found that infections were more common in females than males, suggesting that host sex-ratio distortion occurs in five out of eight parasite species tested. Phylogenetic reconstruction demonstrates that VT occurs in all major lineages of the phylum Microspora and that sex-ratio distorters are found on multiple branches of the phylogenetic tree. We propose that VT is either an ancestral trait or evolves with peculiar frequency in this phylum. If the association observed here between VT and host sex-ratio distortion holds true across other host taxa, these eukaryotic parasites may join the bacterial endosymbionts in their importance as sex-ratio distorters.

  4. The effects of sex ratio on sexual competition in the European lobster.

    PubMed

    Debuse; Addison; Reynolds

    1999-11-01

    During the breeding season an individual's access to mates may be affected by operational sex ratios, causing strong variation in mating success. We manipulated adult sex ratios of the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, to test the predictions of models that relate sexual competition to (1) the sex ratio, (2) the time that an individual is not available to mate and (3) 'collateral investment', whereby two males contribute to a single clutch. The model predictions proved to be relatively insensitive to collateral investment. Male-male competition predominated in the male-biased but not in the female-biased sex ratio. This matches the predictions of one model that incorporates an extended period of female receptivity because the time that a male was unavailable to mate was small compared to the time spent by females in cohabitation and parental care. Although females increased their competitiveness when males were in the minority, male competition remained high. The insensitivity of male-male competition to sex ratios may be due to an upper limit to the costs that males can afford when there is a serious risk of injury, preventing males from increasing their aggression when females are in short supply. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10564599

  5. Epigenetic-induced alterations in sex-ratios in response to climate change: An epigenetic trap?

    PubMed

    Consuegra, Sofia; Rodríguez López, Carlos M

    2016-10-01

    We hypothesize that under the predicted scenario of climate change epigenetically mediated environmental sex determination could become an epigenetic trap. Epigenetically regulated environmental sex determination is a mechanism by which species can modulate their breeding strategies to accommodate environmental change. Growing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms may play a key role in phenotypic plasticity and in the rapid adaptation of species to environmental change, through the capacity of organisms to maintain a non-genetic plastic memory of the environmental and ecological conditions experienced by their parents. However, inherited epigenetic variation could also be maladaptive, becoming an epigenetic trap. This is because environmental sex determination can alter sex ratios by increasing the survival of one of the sexes at the expense of negative fitness consequences for the other, which could lead not only to the collapse of natural populations, but also have an impact in farmed animal and plant species.

  6. Epigenetic-induced alterations in sex-ratios in response to climate change: An epigenetic trap?

    PubMed

    Consuegra, Sofia; Rodríguez López, Carlos M

    2016-10-01

    We hypothesize that under the predicted scenario of climate change epigenetically mediated environmental sex determination could become an epigenetic trap. Epigenetically regulated environmental sex determination is a mechanism by which species can modulate their breeding strategies to accommodate environmental change. Growing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms may play a key role in phenotypic plasticity and in the rapid adaptation of species to environmental change, through the capacity of organisms to maintain a non-genetic plastic memory of the environmental and ecological conditions experienced by their parents. However, inherited epigenetic variation could also be maladaptive, becoming an epigenetic trap. This is because environmental sex determination can alter sex ratios by increasing the survival of one of the sexes at the expense of negative fitness consequences for the other, which could lead not only to the collapse of natural populations, but also have an impact in farmed animal and plant species. PMID:27548838

  7. Impact of prenatal technologies on the sex ratio in India: an overview

    PubMed Central

    Madan, Kamlesh; Breuning, Martijn H.

    2014-01-01

    The fact that techniques of prenatal diagnosis are used in India and China to selectively eliminate females is widely known. It has been extensively reported in the international media and in scientific publications since the 1990s. The publication of the Census of India 2011 shows that the ratio of girls to boys below the age of 6 years continues to decline at an alarming rate. Following that publication, this topic has again received international attention. The aim of this article is to better inform the human genetics community of the magnitude of this practice and its consequences in India. In this overview, we examine the impact of prenatal technology on the sex ratio in India. We present facts and figures from the Census of India and other publications that show that the practice is wide spread throughout India, in urban and rural areas, among the rich and the poor, and among the educated and the illiterate. We also briefly discuss the possible causes, consequences, and solutions. Genet Med 16 6, 425–432. PMID:24177057

  8. Increased sex ratio in Russia and Cuba after Chernobyl: a radiological hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The ratio of male to female offspring at birth may be a simple and non-invasive way to monitor the reproductive health of a population. Except in societies where selective abortion skews the sex ratio, approximately 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. Generally, the human sex ratio at birth is remarkably constant in large populations. After the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in April 1986, a long lasting significant elevation in the sex ratio has been found in Russia, i.e. more boys or fewer girls compared to expectation were born. Recently, also for Cuba an escalated sex ratio from 1987 onward has been documented and discussed in the scientific literature. Presentation of the hypothesis By the end of the eighties of the last century in Cuba as much as about 60% of the food imports were provided by the former Soviet Union. Due to its difficult economic situation, Cuba had neither the necessary insight nor the political strength to circumvent the detrimental genetic effects of imported radioactively contaminated foodstuffs after Chernobyl. We propose that the long term stable sex ratio increase in Cuba is essentially due to ionizing radiation. Testing of the hypothesis A synoptic trend analysis of Russian and Cuban annual sex ratios discloses upward jumps in 1987. The estimated jump height from 1986 to 1987 in Russia measures 0.51% with a 95% confidence interval (0.28, 0.75), p value < 0.0001. In Cuba the estimated jump height measures 2.99% (2.39, 3.60), p value < 0.0001. The hypothesis may be tested by reconstruction of imports from the world markets to Cuba and by radiological analyses of remains in Cuba for Cs-137 and Sr-90. Implications of the hypothesis If the evidence for the hypothesis is strengthened, there is potential to learn about genetic radiation risks and to prevent similar effects in present and future exposure situations. PMID:23947741

  9. How do climate-linked sex ratios and dispersal limit range boundaries?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Geographic ranges of ectotherms such as reptiles may be determined strongly by abiotic factors owing to causal links between ambient temperature, juvenile survival and individual sex (male or female). Unfortunately, we know little of how these factors interact with dispersal among populations across a species range. We used a simulation model to examine the effects of dispersal, temperature-dependent juvenile survival and sex determining mechanism (temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and genotypic sex determination (GSD)) and their interactions, on range limits in populations extending across a continuous range of air temperatures. In particular, we examined the relative importance of these parameters for population persistence to recommend targets for future empirical research. Results Dispersal influenced the range limits of species with TSD to a greater extent than in GSD species. Whereas male dispersal led to expanded species ranges across warm (female-producing) climates, female dispersal led to expanded ranges across cool (male-producing) climates. Two-sex dispersal eliminated the influence of biased sex ratios on ranges. Conclusion The results highlight the importance of the demographic parameter of sex ratio in determining population persistence and species range limits. PMID:25011492

  10. Sex Ratio and Body Mass of Adult Herbivorous Beetles Depend on Time of Occurrence and Light Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Łukowski, Adrian; Mąderek, Ewa; Giertych, Marian J.; Karolewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Body mass and sex ratio (F/M) of folivorous insects are easily measured parameters that are commonly used to assess the effect of food quality, living conditions, and preferences on the selection of favourable sites for offspring. A study was conducted on the polyphagous beetle, Gonioctena quinquepunctata (a pest of the native Prunus padus and alien P. serotina) and on the monophagous beetle, Altica brevicollis coryletorum (a pest of Corylus avellana). Both species have a similar life cycle with emergence of current-year adults in summer, and reproduction of 1-year-old insects in spring. A. brevicollis coryletorum feeds primarily on sunlit shrubs, while G. quinquepunctata prefers shaded leaves. The present study assessed the effect of time of occurrence (insect age) on body mass in both sexes and on the sex ratio F/M, taking into account the influence of light conditions associated with their favoured food source (sunlit vs. shaded leaves). We hypothesized that a change in body mass in current-year insects would be determined by the amount of consumed food, while the sex ratio would be stable, when in 1-year-old insects females would die shortly after oviposition, while males would be active for a prolonged time. Results confirmed the hypothesis that changes in mass of current-year beetles was determined by the amount of food intake. We also found that in spring, unfertilized females coexist with fertilized ones and that the latter females live for some time after oviposition; resulting in fluctuations of the mean mass for females. In both species, 1-year-old beetles were heavier than current-year. The preference of A. brevicollis coryletorum for sunlit leaves results in a higher body weight than in G. quinquepunctata in both seasons. The data are consistent and indicate seasonal fluctuations in body mass and changes in the sex ratio in 1-year-old beetles, due to the entrance into their reproductive period. PMID:26657564

  11. Sex Ratio and Body Mass of Adult Herbivorous Beetles Depend on Time of Occurrence and Light Conditions.

    PubMed

    Łukowski, Adrian; Mąderek, Ewa; Giertych, Marian J; Karolewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Body mass and sex ratio (F/M) of folivorous insects are easily measured parameters that are commonly used to assess the effect of food quality, living conditions, and preferences on the selection of favourable sites for offspring. A study was conducted on the polyphagous beetle, Gonioctenaquinquepunctata (a pest of the native Prunus padus and alien P. serotina) and on the monophagous beetle, Alticabrevicollis coryletorum (a pest of Corylus avellana). Both species have a similar life cycle with emergence of current-year adults in summer, and reproduction of 1-year-old insects in spring. A. brevicollis coryletorum feeds primarily on sunlit shrubs, while G. quinquepunctata prefers shaded leaves. The present study assessed the effect of time of occurrence(insect age) on body mass in both sexes and on the sex ratio F/M, taking into account the influence of light conditions associated with their favoured food source (sunlit vs. shaded leaves). We hypothesized that a change in body mass in current-year insects would be determined by the amount of consumed food, while the sex ratio would be stable, when in 1-year-old insects females would die shortly after oviposition, while males would be active for a prolonged time. Results confirmed the hypothesis that changes in mass of current-year beetles was determined by the amount of food intake. We also found that in spring, unfertilized females coexist with fertilized ones and that the latter females live for some time after oviposition; resulting in fluctuations of the mean mass for females. In both species, 1-year-old beetles were heavier than current-year. The preference of A. brevicollis coryletorum for sunlit leaves results in a higher body weight than in G. quinquepunctata in both seasons. The data are consistent and indicate seasonal fluctuations in body mass and changes in the sex ratio in 1-year-old beetles, due to the entrance into their reproductive period. PMID:26657564

  12. Developmental mortality increases sex-ratio bias of a size-dimorphic bark beetle.

    PubMed

    Lachowsky, Leanna E; Reid, Mary L

    2014-06-01

    1. Given sexual size dimorphism, differential mortality owing to body size can lead to sex-biased mortality, proximately biasing sex ratios. This mechanism may apply to mountain pine beetles, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, which typically have female-biased adult populations (2 : 1) with females larger than males. Smaller males could be more susceptible to stresses than larger females as developing beetles overwinter and populations experience high mortality. 2. Survival of naturally-established mountain pine beetles during the juvenile stage and the resulting adult sex ratios and body sizes (volume) were studied. Three treatments were applied to vary survival in logs cut from trees containing broods of mountain pine beetles. Logs were removed from the forest either in early winter, or in spring after overwintering below snow or after overwintering above snow. Upon removal, logs were placed at room temperature to allow beetles to complete development under similar conditions. 3. Compared with beetles from logs removed in early winter, mortality was higher and the sex ratio was more female-biased in overwintering logs. The bias increased with overwinter mortality. However, sex ratios were female-biased even in early winter, so additional mechanisms, other than overwintering mortality, contributed to the sex-ratio bias. Body volume varied little relative to sex-biased mortality, suggesting other size-independent causes of male-biased mortality. 4. Overwintering mortality is considered a major determinant of mountain pine beetle population dynamics. The disproportionate survival of females, who initiate colonisation of live pine trees, may affect population dynamics in ways that have not been previously considered.

  13. Germ-line origins of mutation in families with hemophilia B: the sex ratio varies with the type of mutation.

    PubMed Central

    Ketterling, R P; Vielhaber, E; Bottema, C D; Schaid, D J; Cohen, M P; Sexauer, C L; Sommer, S S

    1993-01-01

    Previous epidemiological and biochemical studies have generated conflicting estimates of the sex ratio of mutation. Direct genomic sequencing in combination with haplotype analysis extends previous analyses by allowing the precise mutation to be determined in a given family. From analysis of the factor IX gene of 260 consecutive families with hemophilia B, we report the germ-line origin of mutation in 25 families. When combined with 14 origins of mutation reported by others and with 4 origins previously reported by us, a total of 25 occur in the female germ line, and 18 occur in the male germ line. The excess of germ-line origins in females does not imply an overall excess mutation rate per base pair in the female germ line. Bayesian analysis of the data indicates that the sex ratio varies with the type of mutation. The aggregate of single-base substitutions shows a male predominance of germ-line mutations (P < .002). The maximum-likelihood estimate of the male predominance is 3.5-fold. Of the single-base substitutions, transitions at the dinucleotide CpG show the largest male predominance (11-fold). In contrast to single-base substitutions, deletions display a sex ratio of unity. Analysis of the parental age at transmission of a new mutation suggests that germ-line mutations are associated with a small increase in parental age in females but little, if any, increase in males. Although direct genomic sequencing offers a general method for defining the origin of mutation in specific families, accurate estimates of the sex ratios of different mutational classes require large sample sizes and careful correction for multiple biases of ascertainment. The biases in the present data result in an underestimate of the enhancement of mutation in males. PMID:8434583

  14. Operational sex ratio, sexual conflict and the intensity of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Fitze, Patrick S; Le Galliard, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    Modern sexual selection theory indicates that reproductive costs rather than the operational sex ratio predict the intensity of sexual selection. We investigated sexual selection in the polygynandrous common lizard Lacerta vivipara. This species shows male aggression, causing high mating costs for females when adult sex ratios (ASR) are male-biased. We manipulated ASR in 12 experimental populations and quantified the intensity of sexual selection based on the relationship between reproductive success and body size. In sharp contrast to classical sexual selection theory predictions, positive directional sexual selection on male size was stronger and positive directional selection on female size weaker in female-biased populations than in male-biased populations. Thus, consistent with modern theory, directional sexual selection on male size was weaker in populations with higher female mating costs. This suggests that the costs of breeding, but not the operational sex ratio, correctly predicted the strength of sexual selection.

  15. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs. PMID:23778256

  16. Disentangling the effect of genes, the environment and chance on sex ratio variation in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Postma, Erik; Heinrich, Franziska; Koller, Ursina; Sardell, Rebecca J; Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F

    2011-10-01

    Sex ratio theory proposes that the equal sex ratio typically observed in birds and mammals is the result of natural selection. However, in species with chromosomal sex determination, the same 1 : 1 sex ratio is expected under random Mendelian segregation. Here, we present an analysis of 14 years of sex ratio data for a population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte Island, at the nestling stage and at independence from parental care. We test for the presence of variance in sex ratio over and above the binomial variance expected under Mendelian segregation, and thereby quantify the potential for selection to shape sex ratio. Furthermore, if sex ratio variation is to be shaped by selection, we expect some of this extra-binomial variation to have a genetic basis. Despite ample statistical power, we find no evidence for the existence of either genetic or environmentally induced variation in sex ratio, in the nest or at independence. Instead, the sex ratio variation observed matches that expected under random Mendelian segregation. Using one of the best datasets of its kind, we conclude that female song sparrows do not, and perhaps cannot, adjust the sex of their offspring. We discuss the implications of this finding and make suggestions for future research.

  17. Impaired imprinted X chromosome inactivation is responsible for the skewed sex ratio following in vitro fertilization

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Kun; An, Lei; Miao, Kai; Ren, Likun; Hou, Zhuocheng; Tao, Li; Zhang, Zhenni; Wang, Xiaodong; Xia, Wei; Liu, Jinghao; Wang, Zhuqing; Xi, Guangyin; Gao, Shuai; Sui, Linlin; Zhu, De-Sheng; Wang, Shumin; Wu, Zhonghong; Bach, Ingolf; Chen, Dong-bao; Tian, Jianhui

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic epigenetic reprogramming occurs during normal embryonic development at the preimplantation stage. Erroneous epigenetic modifications due to environmental perturbations such as manipulation and culture of embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF) are linked to various short- or long-term consequences. Among these, the skewed sex ratio, an indicator of reproductive hazards, was reported in bovine and porcine embryos and even human IVF newborns. However, since the first case of sex skewing reported in 1991, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We reported herein that sex ratio is skewed in mouse IVF offspring, and this was a result of female-biased peri-implantation developmental defects that were originated from impaired imprinted X chromosome inactivation (iXCI) through reduced ring finger protein 12 (Rnf12)/X-inactive specific transcript (Xist) expression. Compensation of impaired iXCI by overexpression of Rnf12 to up-regulate Xist significantly rescued female-biased developmental defects and corrected sex ratio in IVF offspring. Moreover, supplementation of an epigenetic modulator retinoic acid in embryo culture medium up-regulated Rnf12/Xist expression, improved iXCI, and successfully redeemed the skewed sex ratio to nearly 50% in mouse IVF offspring. Thus, our data show that iXCI is one of the major epigenetic barriers for the developmental competence of female embryos during preimplantation stage, and targeting erroneous epigenetic modifications may provide a potential approach for preventing IVF-associated complications. PMID:26951653

  18. Hypotheses on the stability and variation of human sex ratios at birth.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2012-10-01

    Human sex ratios at birth simultaneously show both significant variation with a number of variables, and striking stability across time. Hypotheses on these features are discussed here. A) The causes of the stability are not established. B) There are several hypotheses which purport to explain sex ratio variation. 1. The Trivers–Willard hypothesis has had only limited success. This may be because (from a methodological standpoint) it has an unusual provenance in that it is not a response to a perceived need for explanation of an observed phenomenon. At present there seems too much evidence in its favour for this hypothesis to be rejected, and too much against it, for it to be accepted. 2. My hypothesis proposes that hormone concentrations (of both parents) around the time of conception partially control the sex of the zygote. A substantial quantity of data has been adduced in favour of this hypothesis. But it cannot explain all types of variation of sex ratios at birth. 3. It has been proposed by Catalano that other variation in sex ratios at birth is associated with maternal stress during pregnancy. He and his co-workers have adduced substantial quantities of data to support this hypothesis too. PMID:22776504

  19. Aggressive behavior of the male parent predicts brood sex ratio in a songbird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szász, Eszter; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Hegyi, Gergely; Szöllősi, Eszter; Markó, Gábor; Török, János; Rosivall, Balázs

    2014-08-01

    Brood sex ratio is often affected by parental or environmental quality, presumably in an adaptive manner that is the sex that confers higher fitness benefits to the mother is overproduced. So far, studies on the role of parental quality have focused on parental morphology and attractiveness. However, another aspect, the partner's behavioral characteristics, may also be expected to play a role in brood sex ratio adjustment. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether the proportion of sons in the brood is predicted by the level of territorial aggression displayed by the father, in the collared flycatcher ( Ficedula albicollis). The proportion of sons in the brood was higher in early broods and increased with paternal tarsus length. When controlling for breeding date and body size, we found a higher proportion of sons in the brood of less aggressive fathers. Male nestlings are more sensitive to the rearing environment, and the behavior of courting males may often be used by females to assess their future parental activity. Therefore, adjusting brood sex ratio to the level of male aggression could be adaptive. Our results indicate that the behavior of the partner could indeed be a significant determinant in brood sex ratio adjustment, which should not be overlooked in future studies.

  20. Flock sizes and sex ratios of canvasbacks in Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Derleth, E.L.; Link, W.A.

    1994-01-01

    Knowledge of the distribution, size, and sex ratios of flocks of wintering canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) is fundamental to understanding the species' winter ecology and providing guidelines for management. Consequently, in winter 1986-87, we conducted 4 monthly aerial photographic surveys to investigate temporal changes in distribution, size, and sex ratios of canvasback flocks in traditional wintering areas of Chesapeake Bay and coastal North Carolina. Surveys yielded 35mm imagery of 194,664 canvasbacks in 842 flocks. Models revealed monthly patterns of flock size in North Carolina and Virginia, but no pattern of change in Maryland. A stepwise analysis of flock size and sex ratio fit a common positive slope (increasing proportion male) for all state-month datasets, except for North Carolina in February where the slope was larger (P lt 0.001). State and month effects on intercepts were significant (P lt 0.001) and confirmed a previously identified latitudinal gradient in sex ratio in the survey region. There was no relationship between flock purity (% canvasbacks vs. other species) and flock size except in North Carolina in January, February, and March when flock purity was related to flock size. Contrasting characteristics in North Carolina with regard to flock size (larger flocks) and flock purity suggested that proximate factors were reinforcing flocking behavior and possibly species fidelity there. Of possible factors, the need to locate foraging sites within this large, open-water environment was hypothesized to be of primary importance. Comparison of January 1981 and 1987 sex ratios indicated no change in Maryland, but lower (P lt 0.05) canvasback sex ratios (proportion male) in Virginia and North Carolina.

  1. Varying contributions of growth and ageing to racial and sex differences in femoral neck structure and strength in old age.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Fang; Duan, Yunbo; Beck, Thomas J; Seeman, Ego

    2005-06-01

    The structural basis of racial and sex differences in femoral neck (FN) fragility in old age was assessed in a cross-sectional study of 829 healthy Chinese and 1181 healthy Caucasian subjects aged 18 to 93 years in Melbourne, Australia. We measured FN bone mineral density (BMD), periosteal diameter, and estimated endocortical diameter, cortical thickness, volumetric BMD (vBMD), section modulus, and buckling ratio using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Racial and sex differences in structural and strength indices were adjusted for age, bone length and body weight and were expressed in standard deviation (SD) unit. In young adulthood, Chinese women had a 0.85 SD narrower FN, a 0.47 SD thinner cortex and a 0.79 SD shorter FN axis length (FNAL) than Caucasian women. Across age, Chinese and Caucasian women had similar increments in endocortical and periosteal diameters and similar decrements in cortical thickness and vBMD (both approximately 20%). In young adult males, FN periosteal diameter did not differ by race, but cortical thickness was 0.35 SD lower in Chinese than Caucasians. Across age, increments in periosteal and endocortical diameters were less in Chinese than Caucasian men so cortical thickness and vBMD diminished less in Chinese than in Caucasian men. In both races, young adult women had narrower FN than men. As Chinese women had a greater increment in periosteal diameter than Chinese men across age, the sex difference in FN periosteal diameter established in young adulthood diminished in old age. As Caucasian men had a greater increment in periosteal diameter than Caucasian women, the sex difference in FN periosteal diameter established in young adulthood increased with age. In old age, for both sexes, Chinese had a higher fracture risk in bending than Caucasians, but a lower fracture risk by buckling. For both races, women had a higher fracture risk in bending than men. Racial and sexual dimorphism in the absolute and relative behavior of the periosteal and

  2. Analysis of the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence in Shenzhen, China

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Mingzhou; Lan, Lina; Feng, Tiejian; Zhao, Guanglu; Wang, Feng; Hong, Fuchang; Wu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Chunlai; Wen, Lizhang; Liu, Aizhong; Best, John McCulloch; Tang, Weiming

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the clinical process of gonorrhoea diagnosis and report in China, and to determine the difference of sex ratio between reported incidence based on reporting data and true diagnosis rate based on reference tests of gonorrhoea. Setting A total of 26 dermatology and sexually transmitted disease (STD) departments, 34 obstetrics-gynaecology clinics and 28 urology outpatient clinics selected from 34 hospitals of Shenzhen regarded as our study sites. Participants A total of 2754 participants were recruited in this study, and 2534 participants completed the questionnaire survey and provided genital tract secretion specimens. There were 1106 male and 1428 female participants. Eligible participants were patients who presented for outpatient STD care at the selected clinics for the first time in October 2012 were at least 18 years old, and were able to give informed consent. Outcome measures Untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate of gonorrhoea, as well as reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio and true diagnosis sex ratio were calculated and used to describe the results. Results 2534 participants were enrolled in the study. The untested rate of gonorrhoea among females was significantly higher than that among males (female 88.1%, male 68.3%, p=0.001). The male-to-female sex ratios of untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate were 1:1.3, 1.2:1, 1:1.6 and 1:1.4, respectively. The reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio of new diagnosed gonorrhoea was 19.8:1 (male vs female: 87/1106 vs 5/1420), while the true diagnosis sex ratio was 2.5:1 (male vs female: 161/1106 vs 84/1420). These data indicate that the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence has been overestimated by a factor of 7.9 (19.8/2.5). Conclusions We found the current reported gonorrhoea incidence and sex ratios to be inaccurate due to underestimations of gonorrhoea incidence, especially among women. PMID:26975933

  3. Teeth, Sex, and Testosterone: Aging in the World's Smallest Primate

    PubMed Central

    Zohdy, Sarah; Gerber, Brian D.; Tecot, Stacey; Blanco, Marina B.; Winchester, Julia M.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) are an exciting new primate model for understanding human aging and disease. In captivity, Microcebus murinus develops human-like ailments of old age after five years (e.g., neurodegeneration analogous to Alzheimer's disease) but can live beyond 12 years. It is believed that wild Microcebus follow a similar pattern of senescence observed in captive animals, but that predation limits their lifespan to four years, thus preventing observance of these diseases in the wild. Testing whether this assumption is true is informative about both Microcebus natural history and environmental influences on senescence, leading to interpretation of findings for models of human aging. Additionally, the study of Microcebus longevity provides an opportunity to better understand mechanisms of sex-biased longevity. Longevity is often shorter in males of species with high male-male competition, such as Microcebus, but mouse lemurs are sexually monomorphic, suggesting similar lifespans. We collected individual-based observations of wild brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) from 2003–2010 to investigate sex-differences in survival and longevity. Fecal testosterone was measured as a potential mechanism of sex-based differences in survival. We used a combination of high-resolution tooth wear techniques, mark-recapture, and hormone enzyme immunoassays. We found no dental or physical signs of senescence in M. rufus as old as eight years (N = 189, ages 1–8, mean = 2.59±1.63 SE), three years older than captive, senescent congeners (M. murinus). Unlike other polygynandrous vertebrates, we found no sex difference in age-dependent survival, nor sex or age differences in testosterone levels. While elevated male testosterone levels have been implicated in shorter lifespans in several species, this is one of the first studies to show equivalent testosterone levels accompanying equivalent lifespans. Future research on captive aged individuals can determine

  4. Age and Sex Differences in Rates of Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xi-Ling; Yang, Lin; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Chan, King-Pan; Cao, Pei-Hua; Lau, Eric Ho-Yin; Peiris, J S Malik; Wong, Chit-Ming

    2015-08-15

    Few studies have explored age and sex differences in the disease burden of influenza, although men and women probably differ in their susceptibility to influenza infections. In this study, quasi-Poisson regression models were applied to weekly age- and sex-specific hospitalization numbers of pneumonia and influenza cases in the Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China, from 2004 to 2010. Age and sex differences were assessed by age- and sex-specific rates of excess hospitalization for influenza A subtypes A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B, respectively. We found that, in children younger than 18 years, boys had a higher excess hospitalization rate than girls, with the male-to-female ratio of excess rate (MFR) ranging from 1.1 to 2.4. MFRs of hospitalization associated with different types/subtypes were less than 1.0 for adults younger than 40 years except for A(H3N2) (MFR = 1.6), while all the MFRs were equal to or higher than 1.0 in adults aged 40 years or more except for A(H1N1)pdm09 in elderly persons aged 65 years or more (MFR = 0.9). No MFR was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05) for hospitalizations associated with influenza type/subtype. There is some limited evidence on age and sex differences in hospitalization associated with influenza in the subtropical city of Hong Kong.

  5. Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009

    PubMed Central

    Busby, Chris; Hamdan, Malak; Ariabi, Entesar

    2010-01-01

    There have been anecdotal reports of increases in birth defects and cancer in Fallujah, Iraq blamed on the use of novel weapons (possibly including depleted uranium) in heavy fighting which occurred in that town between US led forces and local elements in 2004. In Jan/Feb 2010 the authors organised a team of researchers who visited 711 houses in Fallujah, Iraq and obtained responses to a questionnaire in Arabic on cancer, birth defects and infant mortality. The total population in the resulting sample was 4,843 persons with and overall response rate was better than 60%. Relative Risks for cancer were age-standardised and compared to rates in the Middle East Cancer Registry (MECC, Garbiah Egypt) for 1999 and rates in Jordan 1996–2001. Between Jan 2005 and the survey end date there were 62 cases of cancer malignancy reported (RR = 4.22; CI: 2.8, 6.6; p < 0.00000001) including 16 cases of childhood cancer 0–14 (RR = 12.6; CI: 4.9, 32; p < 0.00000001). Highest risks were found in all-leukaemia in the age groups 0–34 (20 cases RR = 38.5; CI: 19.2, 77; p < 0.00000001), all lymphoma 0–34 (8 cases, RR = 9.24;CI: 4.12, 20.8; p < 0.00000001), female breast cancer 0–44 (12 cases RR = 9.7;CI: 3.6, 25.6; p < 0.00000001) and brain tumours all ages (4 cases, RR = 7.4;CI: 2.4, 23.1; P < 0.004). Infant mortality was based on the mean birth rate over the 4 year period 2006–2009 with 1/6th added for cases reported in January and February 2010. There were 34 deaths in the age group 0–1 in this period giving a rate of 80 deaths per 1,000 births. This may be compared with a rate of 19.8 in Egypt (RR = 4.2 p < 0.00001) 17 in Jordan in 2008 and 9.7 in Kuwait in 2008. The mean birth sex-ratio in the recent 5-year cohort was anomalous. Normally the sex ratio in human populations is a constant with 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls. This is disturbed if there is a genetic damage stress. The ratio of boys to 1,000 girls in the 0–4, 5–9, 10–14 and 15–19 age cohorts in the

  6. Sex differences, sexual selection, and ageing: an experimental evolution approach.

    PubMed

    Maklakov, Alexei A; Bonduriansky, Russell; Brooks, Robert C

    2009-10-01

    Life-history (LH) theory predicts that selection will optimize the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance. Reproductive ageing and finite life span are direct consequences of such optimization. Sexual selection and conflict profoundly affect the reproductive strategies of the sexes and thus can play an important role in the evolution of life span and ageing. In theory, sexual selection can favor the evolution of either faster or slower ageing, but the evidence is equivocal. We used a novel selection experiment to investigate the potential of sexual selection to influence the adaptive evolution of age-specific LH traits. We selected replicate populations of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus for age at reproduction ("Young" and "Old") either with or without sexual selection. We found that LH selection resulted in the evolution of age-specific reproduction and mortality but these changes were largely unaffected by sexual selection. Sexual selection depressed net reproductive performance and failed to promote adaptation. Nonetheless, the evolution of several traits differed between males and females. These data challenge the importance of current sexual selection in promoting rapid adaptation to environmental change but support the hypothesis that sex differences in LH-a historical signature of sexual selection-are key in shaping trait responses to novel selection.

  7. Autonomic receptors in urinary tract: Sex and age differences

    SciTech Connect

    Latifpour, J.; Kondo, S.; O'Hollaren, B.; Morita, T.; Weiss, R.M. )

    1990-05-01

    As age and sex affect the function of the lower urinary tract, we studied the characteristics of adrenergic and cholinergic receptors in various parts of lower urinary tract smooth muscle of young (6 months) and old (4 1/2-5 years) male and female rabbits. Saturation experiments performed with (3H)prazosin, (3H)yohimbine, (3H)dihydroalprenolol and (3H)quinuclidinyl benzylate in rabbit bladder base, bladder dome and urethra indicate the presence of regional, sex- and age-related differences in the density of alpha-1, alpha-2, and beta adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Alpha-2 adrenergic receptor density is considerably higher in the female than in the male urethra of both age groups, whereas the higher density of beta adrenergic receptors in the female than in the male bladder base is observed only in the younger animals. The density of muscarinic receptors is higher in bladder dome than in bladder base or urethra in young rabbits of both sexes. In the old animals, the density of muscarinic receptors in bladder base increases to the level observed in bladder dome. Inhibition experiments with selective adrenergic agonists and antagonists indicate that the pharmacological profiles of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in the urethra and beta adrenergic receptors in the bladder dome and bladder base are similar in both sexes and at both ages. Beta-2 adrenergic receptors are shown to be predominant in bladder base and bladder dome of rabbits. Parallel studies in rabbit urethra, adult rat cortex and neonatal rat lung show that the urethral alpha-2 adrenergic receptors are of the alpha-2A subtype.

  8. Sex Ratio Bias and Extinction Risk in an Isolated Population of Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)

    PubMed Central

    Grayson, Kristine L.; Mitchell, Nicola J.; Monks, Joanne M.; Keall, Susan N.; Wilson, Joanna N.; Nelson, Nicola J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying population declines is critical for preventing the extinction of endangered populations. Positive feedbacks can hasten the process of collapse and create an ‘extinction vortex,’ particularly in small, isolated populations. We provide a case study of a male-biased sex ratio creating the conditions for extinction in a natural population of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) on North Brother Island in the Cook Strait of New Zealand. We combine data from long term mark-recapture surveys, updated model estimates of hatchling sex ratio, and population viability modeling to measure the impacts of sex ratio skew. Results from the mark-recapture surveys show an increasing decline in the percentage of females in the adult tuatara population. Our monitoring reveals compounding impacts on female fitness through reductions in female body condition, fecundity, and survival as the male-bias in the population has increased. Additionally, we find that current nest temperatures are likely to result in more male than female hatchlings, owing to the pattern of temperature-dependent sex determination in tuatara where males hatch at warmer temperatures. Anthropogenic climate change worsens the situation for this isolated population, as projected temperature increases for New Zealand are expected to further skew the hatchling sex ratio towards males. Population viability models predict that without management intervention or an evolutionary response, the population will ultimately become entirely comprised of males and functionally extinct. Our study demonstrates that sex ratio bias can be an underappreciated threat to population viability, particularly in populations of long-lived organisms that appear numerically stable. PMID:24714691

  9. Association between sex ratio distortion and sexually antagonistic fitness consequences of female choice.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim; Jakubowski, Erin

    2009-08-01

    Genetic variation can be beneficial to one sex yet harmful when expressed in the other-a condition referred to as sexual antagonism. Because X chromosomes are transmitted from fathers to daughters, and sexually antagonistic fitness variation is predicted to often be X-linked, mates of relatively low-fitness males might produce high-fitness daughters whereas mates of high-fitness males produce low-fitness daughters. Such fitness consequences have been predicted to influence the evolution of female mating biases and the offspring sex ratio. Females might evolve to prefer mates that provide good genes for daughters or might adjust offspring sex ratios in favor of the sex with the highest relative fitness. We test these possibilities in a laboratory-adapted population of Drosophila melanogaster, and find that females preferentially mate with males carrying genes that are deleterious for daughters. Preferred males produce equal numbers of sons and daughters, whereas unpreferred males produce female-biased sex ratios. As a consequence, mean offspring fitness of unpreferred males is higher than offspring fitness of preferred males. This observation has several interesting implications for sexual selection and the maintenance of population genetic variation for fitness.

  10. Determination of Sperm Sex Ratio in Bovine Semen Using Multiplex Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction.

    PubMed

    Khamlor, Trisadee; Pongpiachan, Petai; Sangsritavong, Siwat; Chokesajjawatee, Nipa

    2014-10-01

    Gender selection is important in livestock industries; for example, female calves are required in the dairy industry. Sex-sorted semen is commonly used for the production of calves of the desired gender. However, assessment of the sex ratio of the sorted semen is tedious and expensive. In this study, a rapid, cost effective and reliable method for determining the sex ratio was developed using a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. In this assay, the X and Y chromosome-specific markers, i.e., bovine proteolipid protein (PLP) gene and sex-determining region Y (SRY) were simultaneously quantified in a single tube. The multiplex real-time PCR assay was shown to have high amplification efficiencies (97% to 99%) comparable to the separated-tube simplex real-time PCR assay. The results obtained from both assays were not significantly different (p>0.05). The multiplex assay was validated using reference DNA of known X ratio (10%, 50%, and 90%) as templates. The measured %X in semen samples were the same within 95% confidence intervals as the expected values, i.e., >90% in X-sorted semen, <10% in Y-sorted semen and close to 50% in the unsorted semen. The multiplex real-time PCR assay as shown in this study can thus be used to assess purity of sex-sorted semen. PMID:25178292

  11. Comparison of Isokinetic Hip Abduction and Adduction Peak Torques and Ratio Between Sexes

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Dai; Mattacola, Carl G.; Mullineaux, David R.; Palmer, Thomas G.; Hewett, Timothy E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate hip abductor and adductor peak torque outputs and compare their ratios between sexes. Design A cross-sectional laboratory-controlled study. Setting Participants visited a laboratory and performed an isokinetic hip abductor and adductor test. All participants performed 2 sets of 5 repetitions of concentric hip abduction and adduction in a standing position at 60 degrees per second. Gravity was determined as a function of joint angle relative to the horizontal plane and was corrected by normalizing the weight of the limb on an individual basis. Participants A total of 36 collegiate athletes. Independent Variable Sex (20 females and 16 males). Main Outcome Measures Bilateral peak hip abductor and adductor torques were measured. The 3 highest peak torque values were averaged for each subject. Results Independent t tests were used to compare sex differences in hip abductor and adductor peak torques and the abductor:adductor peak torque ratios. Males demonstrated significantly greater hip abductor peak torque compared with females (males 1.29 ± 0.24 Nm/kg, females 1.13 ± 0.20 Nm/kg; P = 0.03). Neither hip adductor peak torque nor their ratios differed between sexes. Conclusions Sex differences in hip abductor strength were observed. The role of weaker hip abductors in females deserves further attention and may be a factor for higher risk of knee pathologies. PMID:24905541

  12. Maternal condition does not influence birth sex ratios in anubis baboons (Papio anubis).

    PubMed

    Silk, Joan B; Strum, Shirley C

    2010-09-22

    Trivers and Willard predicted that when parental condition has differential effects on the fitness of male and female offspring, parents who are in good condition will bias investment toward the sex that benefits most from additional investment. Efforts to test predictions derived from Trivers and Willard's model have had mixed results, perhaps because most studies have relied on proxy measures of parental condition, such as dominance rank. Here, we examine the effects of female baboons condition on birth sex ratios and post-natal investment, based on visual assessments of maternal body condition. We find that local environmental conditions have significant effects on female condition, but maternal condition at conception has no consistent relationship with birth sex ratios. Mothers who are in poorer condition at the time of conception resume cycling significantly later than females who are in better condition, but the sex of their infants has no effect on the time to resumption of cycling. Thus, our findings provide strong evidence that maternal condition influences females' ability to reproduce, but females do not facultatively adjust the sex ratio of their offspring in relation to their dominance rank or current condition.

  13. Maternal Condition Does Not Influence Birth Sex Ratios in Anubis Baboons (Papio anubis)

    PubMed Central

    Silk, Joan B.; Strum, Shirley C.

    2010-01-01

    Trivers and Willard predicted that when parental condition has differential effects on the fitness of male and female offspring, parents who are in good condition will bias investment toward the sex that benefits most from additional investment. Efforts to test predictions derived from Trivers and Willard's model have had mixed results, perhaps because most studies have relied on proxy measures of parental condition, such as dominance rank. Here, we examine the effects of female baboons condition on birth sex ratios and post-natal investment, based on visual assessments of maternal body condition. We find that local environmental conditions have significant effects on female condition, but maternal condition at conception has no consistent relationship with birth sex ratios. Mothers who are in poorer condition at the time of conception resume cycling significantly later than females who are in better condition, but the sex of their infants has no effect on the time to resumption of cycling. Thus, our findings provide strong evidence that maternal condition influences females' ability to reproduce, but females do not facultatively adjust the sex ratio of their offspring in relation to their dominance rank or current condition. PMID:20877648

  14. Cognitive ability correlates positively with son birth and predicts cross-cultural variation of the offspring sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2013-06-01

    Human populations show remarkable variation in the sex ratio at birth which is believed to be related to the parental condition. In the present study, the global variation of sex ratio at birth (SRB, proportion of male offspring born) was analyzed with respect to indirect measure of condition, the intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ correlates strongly with lifespan across nations, which makes it a good indicator of health of the large populations. Relation between three standard measures of average national IQ and SRB was studied using multiple linear regression models. Average national IQ was positively correlated with SRB (r = 0.54 to 0.57, p < 0.001). Further, IQ emerged as a powerful predictor of SRB after controlling for the effects of all the known covariates like fertility, maternal age, polygyny prevalence, wealth, son preference, latitude, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality in the regression models. These results suggest that the striking variation of offspring sex ratio across nations could be caused in part by the difference in general condition of populations.

  15. Cognitive ability correlates positively with son birth and predicts cross-cultural variation of the offspring sex ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2013-06-01

    Human populations show remarkable variation in the sex ratio at birth which is believed to be related to the parental condition. In the present study, the global variation of sex ratio at birth (SRB, proportion of male offspring born) was analyzed with respect to indirect measure of condition, the intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ correlates strongly with lifespan across nations, which makes it a good indicator of health of the large populations. Relation between three standard measures of average national IQ and SRB was studied using multiple linear regression models. Average national IQ was positively correlated with SRB ( r = 0.54 to 0.57, p < 0.001). Further, IQ emerged as a powerful predictor of SRB after controlling for the effects of all the known covariates like fertility, maternal age, polygyny prevalence, wealth, son preference, latitude, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality in the regression models. These results suggest that the striking variation of offspring sex ratio across nations could be caused in part by the difference in general condition of populations.

  16. [Methodological note on subnational population projections by age and sex (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Itoh, T

    1980-07-01

    The purposes of this paper were to discuss the methods and assumptions on subnational population projections by age and sex, and to present 2 models on population projection for 47 Prefectures in Japan by age and sex up to 2000. Data are obtained from the results of the 1970 and 1975 population censuses of Japan for population by age and sex, and interprefectural migration streams by age and sex based on the 1970 population census. The 2 models are a sort of cohort-component method: 1 is the (NMR) net-migration model and the other is the (MTX) migration matrix model. The essential difference between the 2 is the separate consideration of out- and inmigration models. The formulas for estimating numbers of net migration in the NMR model are (4) and (5) in the text, where P is the number of the population, S is the life table survival ratios, and m is the rate of net migration. The formulas for estimating numbers of outmigration, migration streams from region i to region j, and inmigration, in the MTX model are (17)-(21), where E is the numbers of outmigration, e is the rate of outmigration, m (i,j) is the proportion of the number of migrants from i to j to total numbers of outmigrants from region i, and I is the numbers of inmigration for each region. Under constant conditions, for all rates, the projected population for 47 prefectures by age and sex up to 2000 using models NMR and MTX was obtained. The projected number of population in 2000 are shown in figures on pages 66 and 67. As the results of these projections, the increase in aged population between 1975-200 in the metropolitan areas, especially Tokyo (1), are greater than that in other areas, since the concentration of the young in the 3 metropolitan areas has rapidly dropped since 1950. (Author's modified)

  17. Parkinson disease male-to-female ratios increase with age: French nationwide study and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Moisan, Frédéric; Kab, Sofiane; Mohamed, Fatima; Canonico, Marianne; Le Guern, Morgane; Quintin, Cécile; Carcaillon, Laure; Nicolau, Javier; Duport, Nicolas; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Boussac-Zarebska, Marjorie; Elbaz, Alexis

    2016-01-01

    Background Parkinson’s disease (PD) is 1.5 times more frequent in men than women. Whether age modifies this ratio is unclear. We examined whether male-to-female (M–F) ratios change with age through a French nationwide prevalence/incidence study (2010) and a meta-analysis of incidence studies. Methods We used French national drug claims databases to identify PD cases using a validated algorithm. We computed M–F prevalence/incidence ratios overall and by age using Poisson regression. Ratios were regressed on age to estimate their annual change. We identified all PD incidence studies with age/sex-specific data, and performed a meta-analysis of M–F ratios. Results On the basis of 149 672 prevalent (50% women) and 25 438 incident (49% women) cases, age-standardised rates were higher in men (prevalence=2.865/1000; incidence=0.490/1000 person-years) than women (prevalence=1.934/1000; incidence=0.328/1000 person-years). The overall M–F ratio was 1.48 for prevalence and 1.49 for incidence. Prevalence and incidence M–F ratios increased by 0.05 and 0.14, respectively, per 10 years of age. Incidence was similar in men and women under 50 years (M–F ratio <1.2, p>0.20), and over 1.6 (p<0.001) times higher in men than women above 80 years (p trend <0.001). A meta-analysis of 22 incidence studies (14 126 cases, 46% women) confirmed that M– F ratios increased with age (0.26 per 10 years, p trend=0.005). Conclusions Age-increasing M–F ratios suggest that PD aetiology changes with age. Sex-related risk/protective factors may play a different role across the continuum of age at onset. This finding may inform aetiological PD research. PMID:26701996

  18. Modulation of sex ratios in Daphnia magna following multigenerational exposure to sewage treatment plant effluents.

    PubMed

    Baer, K N; McCoole, M D; Overturf, M D

    2009-07-01

    The influence of sewage treatment plant effluents on sex ratios in Daphnia magna was investigated. Female daphnids were acclimated for several generations to effluents from a municipal sewage treatment plant and a residential oxidation lagoon and then placed under conditions to maximize male offspring production. Both effluents resulted in a statistically significant decrease in male production and a shift in male broods from earlier broods to later broods near the end of the adult life cycle. For example, sex ratios in control daphnids ranged from 0.43 to 0.67 in broods 3-4 compared with 0.0-0.13 in daphnids exposed to the residential oxidation lagoon. Secondary sexual characteristics of both sexes were statistically significantly increased by the sewage lagoon effluent but not the municipal effluent. These preliminary results suggest that alteration in timing of sexual determination due to exposure to sewage treatment plant effluents could severely impact the survival of daphnid populations. PMID:19193438

  19. Organization of the sex-ratio Meiotic Drive Region in Drosophila simulans

    PubMed Central

    Montchamp-Moreau, Catherine; Ogereau, David; Chaminade, Nicole; Colard, Alexandre; Aulard, Sylvie

    2006-01-01

    Sex-ratio meiotic drive is the preferential transmission of the X chromosome by XY males, which occurs in several Drosophila species and results in female-biased progeny. Although the trait has long been known to exist, its molecular basis remains completely unknown. Here we report a fine-mapping experiment designed to characterize the major drive locus on a sex-ratio X chromosome of Drosophila simulans originating from the Seychelles (XSR6). This primary locus was found to contain two interacting elements at least, both of which are required for drive expression. One of them was genetically tracked to a tandem duplication containing six annotated genes (Trf2, CG32712, CG12125, CG1440, CG12123, org-1), and the other to a candidate region located ∼110 kb away and spanning seven annotated genes. RT–PCR showed that all but two of these genes were expressed in the testis of both sex-ratio and standard males. In situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes revealed a complete association of the duplication with the sex-ratio trait in random samples of X chromosomes from Madagascar and Reunion. PMID:16387875

  20. Does polyandry control population sex ratio via regulation of a selfish gene?

    PubMed Central

    Price, Tom A. R.; Bretman, Amanda; Gradilla, Ana C.; Reger, Julia; Taylor, Michelle L.; Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Campbell, Amy; Hurst, Gregory D. D.; Wedell, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The extent of female multiple mating (polyandry) can strongly impact on the intensity of sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of cooperation and sociality. More subtly, polyandry may protect populations against intragenomic conflicts that result from the invasion of deleterious selfish genetic elements (SGEs). SGEs commonly impair sperm production, and so are likely to be unsuccessful in sperm competition, potentially reducing their transmission in polyandrous populations. Here, we test this prediction in nature. We demonstrate a heritable latitudinal cline in the degree of polyandry in the fruitfly Drosophila pseudoobscura across the USA, with northern population females remating more frequently in both the field and the laboratory. High remating was associated with low frequency of a sex-ratio-distorting meiotic driver in natural populations. In the laboratory, polyandry directly controls the frequency of the driver by undermining its transmission. Hence we suggest that the cline in polyandry represents an important contributor to the cline in sex ratio in nature. Furthermore, as the meiotic driver causes sex ratio bias, variation in polyandry may ultimately determine population sex ratio across the USA, a dramatic impact of female mating decisions. As SGEs are ubiquitous it is likely that the reduction of intragenomic conflict by polyandry is widespread. PMID:24695427

  1. Female starlings adjust primary sex ratio in response to aromatic plants in the nest.

    PubMed Central

    Polo, Vicente; Veiga, José P.; Cordero, Pedro J.; Viñuela, Javier; Monaghan, Pat

    2004-01-01

    Adjustment of offspring sex ratios should be favoured by natural selection when parents are capable of facultatively altering brood sex ratios and of recognizing the circumstances that predict the probable fitness benefit of producing sons and daughters. Although experimental studies have shown that female birds may adjust offspring sex ratios in response to changes in their own condition and in the external appearance of their mate, and male attributes other than his external morphology are also thought to act as signals of male quality, it is not known whether females will respond to changes in such signals, in the absence of any change in the appearance of the male himself. Here, we experimentally manipulated a male courtship display, the green plants carried to the nest by male spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor), without changing any physical attributes of the male himself, and examined whether this influenced female decisions on offspring sex ratio. We found that in an environment in which female starlings were producing more daughters than sons, experimental enhancement of the green nesting material caused females to significantly increase the number of male eggs produced and thereby removed the female bias. This effect was consistent in 2 years and at two localities. This demonstrates that the green material, whose function has long puzzled biologists, conveys important information to the female and that she facultatively adjusts offspring production accordingly. PMID:15347516

  2. Lunar cycles at mating do not influence sex ratio at birth in horses.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, J J; Cuervo-Arango, J; Santa Juliana, L

    2015-02-01

    It is scientifically demonstrated that lunar cycles have important effects on several biological events. Controversy exists about the lunar influence on human and animal parturition. In addition, in the horse industry, especially in Polo Horse breeders of Argentina and around the world there is a higher demand for female offspring than for males. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is a significant association between the lunar phase at the time of mating and the sex ratio at birth in horses. The Argentinean Stud Book provided information related to all matings registered for Thoroughbred and Arab horses between 2003 and 2011. Statistical associations were tested between dates of matings at different lunar phases or days and sex ratio at birth. A total of 65.535 gestations were studied. Overall, sex ratio at birth resulted in 33.396 fillies (50.96%) and 32.139 colts (49.04%). The percentages of males and females at birth were not statistically different amongst the different lunar phases or days. We can strongly conclude that managing the breeding dates in relation to lunar cycles in order to manipulate the sex ratio of the offspring is not a viable option in horses.

  3. Too Many Men? Sex Ratios and Women's Partnering Behavior in China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trent, Katherine; South, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    The relative numbers of women and men are changing dramatically in China, but the consequences of these imbalanced sex ratios have received little empirical attention. We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between cohort- and community-specific sex…

  4. Non-quantitative adjustment of offspring sex ratios in pollinating fig wasps

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui-Wu; Sun, Bao-Fa; He, Jun-Zhou; Dunn, Derek W.

    2015-01-01

    Fig wasp is one of the most well known model systems in examining whether or not the parents could adjust their offspring sex ratio to maximize their gene frequency transmission in next generations. Our manipulative experiments showed that, in all of the five pollinator wasps of figs (Agaonidae) that have different averages of foundress numbers per syconium, almost the same proportions of male offspring are produced in the experiment that foundresses deposit one hour then are killed with ether (66.1%–70.1%) and over the lifespan of each foundress (14.0%–21.0%). The foundresses tend to deposit their male eggs prior to female eggs. The observed increase in the proportion of male offspring as a function of foundress number results from density-dependent interference competition among the foundresses. These results showed that the selection of gene frequency transmission through the behavioral adjustment in the evolution of sex ratio does not exist in these five fig wasps. The results here implied that genetic adjustment mechanisms of the sex ratio of fig wasps can only be triggered to be on or off and that the foundresses can not quantitatively adjust their sex ratio according to increased environmental selection pressure. PMID:26293349

  5. Lunar cycles at mating do not influence sex ratio at birth in horses.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, J J; Cuervo-Arango, J; Santa Juliana, L

    2015-02-01

    It is scientifically demonstrated that lunar cycles have important effects on several biological events. Controversy exists about the lunar influence on human and animal parturition. In addition, in the horse industry, especially in Polo Horse breeders of Argentina and around the world there is a higher demand for female offspring than for males. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is a significant association between the lunar phase at the time of mating and the sex ratio at birth in horses. The Argentinean Stud Book provided information related to all matings registered for Thoroughbred and Arab horses between 2003 and 2011. Statistical associations were tested between dates of matings at different lunar phases or days and sex ratio at birth. A total of 65.535 gestations were studied. Overall, sex ratio at birth resulted in 33.396 fillies (50.96%) and 32.139 colts (49.04%). The percentages of males and females at birth were not statistically different amongst the different lunar phases or days. We can strongly conclude that managing the breeding dates in relation to lunar cycles in order to manipulate the sex ratio of the offspring is not a viable option in horses. PMID:25153135

  6. Non-quantitative adjustment of offspring sex ratios in pollinating fig wasps.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui-Wu; Sun, Bao-Fa; He, Jun-Zhou; Dunn, Derek W

    2015-08-21

    Fig wasp is one of the most well known model systems in examining whether or not the parents could adjust their offspring sex ratio to maximize their gene frequency transmission in next generations. Our manipulative experiments showed that, in all of the five pollinator wasps of figs (Agaonidae) that have different averages of foundress numbers per syconium, almost the same proportions of male offspring are produced in the experiment that foundresses deposit one hour then are killed with ether (66.1%-70.1%) and over the lifespan of each foundress (14.0%-21.0%). The foundresses tend to deposit their male eggs prior to female eggs. The observed increase in the proportion of male offspring as a function of foundress number results from density-dependent interference competition among the foundresses. These results showed that the selection of gene frequency transmission through the behavioral adjustment in the evolution of sex ratio does not exist in these five fig wasps. The results here implied that genetic adjustment mechanisms of the sex ratio of fig wasps can only be triggered to be on or off and that the foundresses can not quantitatively adjust their sex ratio according to increased environmental selection pressure.

  7. The changing sex ratios at birth during the civil war in Tajikistan: 1992-1997.

    PubMed

    Hohmann, Sophie; Roche, Sophie; Garenne, Michel

    2010-11-01

    Sex ratios at birth are known to change during wars or shortly after. This study investigated changes in sex ratios during the civil war that occurred in Tajikistan after the dismantling of the Soviet Union. This civil war was particularly bloody and long lasting, and had many demographic consequences. According to vital registration data, some 27,000 persons died in excess of previous trends during the civil war period (1992-1997), and total mortality was sometimes estimated to be three times higher by independent observers. Birth rates dropped markedly during the war, and sex ratios at birth increased significantly from 104.6 before the war to 106.9 during the war, to return to baseline values afterwards. The change in sex ratio is investigated according to demographic evidence (migration, delayed marriage, spouse separation), substantiated with qualitative evidence (difficulties with food supply), and compared with patterns found in Europe during World War II, as well as with recent wars in the Middle East.

  8. Sex- and age-related differences in mathematics.

    PubMed

    Rustemeyer, Ruth; Fischer, Natalie

    2005-08-01

    This study examined sex differences and age-related changes in mathematics based on Eccles's 1985 expectancy-value model of "achievement-related choices" and Dweck's 1986 motivation-process model. We have assessed motivational variables and performance in mathematics for youth in Grades 5, 7, and 9 in a German comprehensive secondary school. Significant sex differences in Grades 7 and 9 were observed even when school marks were controlled for. Furthermore, the results indicated differences between Grade 7 and Grade 9 on most of the motivational variables. Older students show a less favorable motivational pattern. Our results give evidence of the importance of motivational encouragement in mathematics classes, especially for girls and low achieving learners. PMID:16279324

  9. Ploidy, sex and crossing over in an evolutionary aging model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobo, Matheus P.; Onody, Roberto N.

    2006-02-01

    Nowadays, many forms of reproduction coexist in nature: Asexual, sexual, apomictic and meiotic parthenogenesis, hermaphroditism and parasex. The mechanisms of their evolution and what made them successful reproductive alternatives are very challenging and debated questions. Here, using a simple evolutionary aging model, we give a possible scenario. By studying the performance of populations where individuals may have diverse characteristics-different ploidies, sex with or without crossing over, as well as the absence of sex-we find an evolution sequence that may explain why there are actually two major or leading groups: Sexual and asexual. We also investigate the dependence of these characteristics on different conditions of fertility and deleterious mutations. Finally, if the primeval organisms on Earth were, in fact, asexual individuals we conjecture that the sexual form of reproduction could have more easily been set and found its niche during a period of low-intensity mutations.

  10. Arachidonic Acid Enhances Reproduction in Daphnia magna and Mitigates Changes in Sex Ratios Induced by Pyriproxyfen

    PubMed Central

    Ginjupalli, Gautam K.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Baldwin, William S.

    2016-01-01

    Arachidonic acid (AA) is one of only two unsaturated fatty acids retained in the ovaries of crustaceans, and an inhibitor of HR97g, a nuclear receptor expressed in adult ovaries. We hypothesized that as a key fatty acid, AA may be associated with reproduction and potentially environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Reproduction assays with AA indicate that it alters female/male sex ratios by increasing female production. This reproductive effect only occurred during a restricted P. subcapitata diet. Next, we tested whether enriching a poorer algal diet (C. vulgaris) with AA enhances overall reproduction and sex ratios. AA enrichment of a C. vulgaris diet also enhances fecundity at 1.0 and 4.0μM by 30–40% in the presence and absence of pyriproxyfen. This indicates that AA is crucial in reproduction regardless of environmental sex determination. Furthermore, our data indicates that P. subcapitata may provide a threshold concentration of AA needed for reproduction. Diet switch experiments from P. subcapitata to C. vulgaris mitigate some but not all of AA’s effects when compared to a C. vulgaris only diet, suggesting that some AA provided by P. subcapitata is retained. In summary, AA supplementation increases reproduction and represses pyriproxyfen-induced environmental sex determination in D. magna in restricted diets. A diet rich in AA may provide protection from some reproductive toxicants such as the juvenile hormone agonist, pyriproxyfen. PMID:25393616

  11. A CRISPR-Cas9 sex-ratio distortion system for genetic control.

    PubMed

    Galizi, Roberto; Hammond, Andrew; Kyrou, Kyros; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Bernardini, Federica; O'Loughlin, Samantha M; Papathanos, Philippos-Aris; Nolan, Tony; Windbichler, Nikolai; Crisanti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Genetic control aims to reduce the ability of insect pest populations to cause harm via the release of modified insects. One strategy is to bias the reproductive sex ratio towards males so that a population decreases in size or is eliminated altogether due to a lack of females. We have shown previously that sex ratio distortion can be generated synthetically in the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, by selectively destroying the X-chromosome during spermatogenesis, through the activity of a naturally-occurring endonuclease that targets a repetitive rDNA sequence highly-conserved in a wide range of organisms. Here we describe a CRISPR-Cas9 sex distortion system that targets ribosomal sequences restricted to the member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Expression of Cas9 during spermatogenesis resulted in RNA-guided shredding of the X-chromosome during male meiosis and produced extreme male bias among progeny in the absence of any significant reduction in fertility. The flexibility of CRISPR-Cas9 combined with the availability of genomic data for a range of insects renders this strategy broadly applicable for the species-specific control of any pest or vector species with an XY sex-determination system by targeting sequences exclusive to the female sex chromosome. PMID:27484623

  12. Temporal variability of local abundance, sex ratio and activity in the Sardinian chalk hill blue butterfly

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casula, P.; Nichols, J.D.

    2003-01-01

    When capturing and marking of individuals is possible, the application of newly developed capture-recapture models can remove several sources of bias in the estimation of population parameters such as local abundance and sex ratio. For example, observation of distorted sex ratios in counts or captures can reflect either different abundances of the sexes or different sex-specific capture probabilities, and capture-recapture models can help distinguish between these two possibilities. Robust design models and a model selection procedure based on information-theoretic methods were applied to study the local population structure of the endemic Sardinian chalk hill blue butterfly, Polyommatus coridon gennargenti. Seasonal variations of abundance, plus daily and weather-related variations of active populations of males and females were investigated. Evidence was found of protandry and male pioneering of the breeding space. Temporary emigration probability, which describes the proportion of the population not exposed to capture (e.g. absent from the study area) during the sampling process, was estimated, differed between sexes, and was related to temperature, a factor known to influence animal activity. The correlation between temporary emigration and average daily temperature suggested interpreting temporary emigration as inactivity of animals. Robust design models were used successfully to provide a detailed description of the population structure and activity in this butterfly and are recommended for studies of local abundance and animal activity in the field.

  13. A CRISPR-Cas9 sex-ratio distortion system for genetic control

    PubMed Central

    Galizi, Roberto; Hammond, Andrew; Kyrou, Kyros; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Bernardini, Federica; O’Loughlin, Samantha M.; Papathanos, Philippos-Aris; Nolan, Tony; Windbichler, Nikolai; Crisanti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Genetic control aims to reduce the ability of insect pest populations to cause harm via the release of modified insects. One strategy is to bias the reproductive sex ratio towards males so that a population decreases in size or is eliminated altogether due to a lack of females. We have shown previously that sex ratio distortion can be generated synthetically in the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, by selectively destroying the X-chromosome during spermatogenesis, through the activity of a naturally-occurring endonuclease that targets a repetitive rDNA sequence highly-conserved in a wide range of organisms. Here we describe a CRISPR-Cas9 sex distortion system that targets ribosomal sequences restricted to the member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Expression of Cas9 during spermatogenesis resulted in RNA-guided shredding of the X-chromosome during male meiosis and produced extreme male bias among progeny in the absence of any significant reduction in fertility. The flexibility of CRISPR-Cas9 combined with the availability of genomic data for a range of insects renders this strategy broadly applicable for the species-specific control of any pest or vector species with an XY sex-determination system by targeting sequences exclusive to the female sex chromosome. PMID:27484623

  14. A CRISPR-Cas9 sex-ratio distortion system for genetic control.

    PubMed

    Galizi, Roberto; Hammond, Andrew; Kyrou, Kyros; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Bernardini, Federica; O'Loughlin, Samantha M; Papathanos, Philippos-Aris; Nolan, Tony; Windbichler, Nikolai; Crisanti, Andrea

    2016-08-03

    Genetic control aims to reduce the ability of insect pest populations to cause harm via the release of modified insects. One strategy is to bias the reproductive sex ratio towards males so that a population decreases in size or is eliminated altogether due to a lack of females. We have shown previously that sex ratio distortion can be generated synthetically in the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, by selectively destroying the X-chromosome during spermatogenesis, through the activity of a naturally-occurring endonuclease that targets a repetitive rDNA sequence highly-conserved in a wide range of organisms. Here we describe a CRISPR-Cas9 sex distortion system that targets ribosomal sequences restricted to the member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Expression of Cas9 during spermatogenesis resulted in RNA-guided shredding of the X-chromosome during male meiosis and produced extreme male bias among progeny in the absence of any significant reduction in fertility. The flexibility of CRISPR-Cas9 combined with the availability of genomic data for a range of insects renders this strategy broadly applicable for the species-specific control of any pest or vector species with an XY sex-determination system by targeting sequences exclusive to the female sex chromosome.

  15. Female-Bias in a Long-Term Study of a Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: Monitoring Sex Ratios for Climate Change Research.

    PubMed

    Braun McNeill, Joanne; Avens, Larisa; Goodman Hall, April; Goshe, Lisa R; Harms, Craig A; Owens, David W

    2016-01-01

    Alterations have occurred and continue to manifest in the Earth's biota as a result of climate change. Animals exhibiting temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), including sea turtles, are perhaps most vulnerable to a warming of the Earth as highly skewed sex ratios can result, potentially leading to population extinction resulting from decreased male recruitment. Recent studies have begun to quantify climate change impacts to sea turtle populations, especially in terms of predicting effects on hatchling sex ratios. However, given the inherent difficulty in studying sex ratios at this life stage, a more accurate assessment of changes in population sex ratios might be derived by evaluating the juvenile portion of foraging aggregations. We investigated the long-term trend in sex ratio of a juvenile loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle population inhabiting Pamlico and Core Sounds, North Carolina, USA. We used plasma testosterone reference ranges measured using radioimmunoassay (RIA) to assign sex for 959 turtles and confirmed sex assignment of a subset (N = 58) of the sampled turtles through laparoscopic examination of their gonads. Our results demonstrate that for this particular population of loggerheads, sex ratios (3Females:1Male) had not significantly changed over a 10 year period (1998-2007), nor showed any significant difference among 5-cm straight carapace length (SCL) size classes. Ultimately, these findings provide a basis for comparison with future sex ratios, and highlight the importance of establishing similar long-term studies monitoring secondary, rather than primary, sex ratios, so that needed mitigation measures to climate change impacts can be implemented. PMID:27579608

  16. Female-Bias in a Long-Term Study of a Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: Monitoring Sex Ratios for Climate Change Research

    PubMed Central

    Braun McNeill, Joanne; Avens, Larisa; Goodman Hall, April; Goshe, Lisa R.; Harms, Craig A.; Owens, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Alterations have occurred and continue to manifest in the Earth’s biota as a result of climate change. Animals exhibiting temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), including sea turtles, are perhaps most vulnerable to a warming of the Earth as highly skewed sex ratios can result, potentially leading to population extinction resulting from decreased male recruitment. Recent studies have begun to quantify climate change impacts to sea turtle populations, especially in terms of predicting effects on hatchling sex ratios. However, given the inherent difficulty in studying sex ratios at this life stage, a more accurate assessment of changes in population sex ratios might be derived by evaluating the juvenile portion of foraging aggregations. We investigated the long-term trend in sex ratio of a juvenile loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle population inhabiting Pamlico and Core Sounds, North Carolina, USA. We used plasma testosterone reference ranges measured using radioimmunoassay (RIA) to assign sex for 959 turtles and confirmed sex assignment of a subset (N = 58) of the sampled turtles through laparoscopic examination of their gonads. Our results demonstrate that for this particular population of loggerheads, sex ratios (3Females:1Male) had not significantly changed over a 10 year period (1998–2007), nor showed any significant difference among 5-cm straight carapace length (SCL) size classes. Ultimately, these findings provide a basis for comparison with future sex ratios, and highlight the importance of establishing similar long-term studies monitoring secondary, rather than primary, sex ratios, so that needed mitigation measures to climate change impacts can be implemented. PMID:27579608

  17. Female-Bias in a Long-Term Study of a Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: Monitoring Sex Ratios for Climate Change Research.

    PubMed

    Braun McNeill, Joanne; Avens, Larisa; Goodman Hall, April; Goshe, Lisa R; Harms, Craig A; Owens, David W

    2016-01-01

    Alterations have occurred and continue to manifest in the Earth's biota as a result of climate change. Animals exhibiting temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), including sea turtles, are perhaps most vulnerable to a warming of the Earth as highly skewed sex ratios can result, potentially leading to population extinction resulting from decreased male recruitment. Recent studies have begun to quantify climate change impacts to sea turtle populations, especially in terms of predicting effects on hatchling sex ratios. However, given the inherent difficulty in studying sex ratios at this life stage, a more accurate assessment of changes in population sex ratios might be derived by evaluating the juvenile portion of foraging aggregations. We investigated the long-term trend in sex ratio of a juvenile loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle population inhabiting Pamlico and Core Sounds, North Carolina, USA. We used plasma testosterone reference ranges measured using radioimmunoassay (RIA) to assign sex for 959 turtles and confirmed sex assignment of a subset (N = 58) of the sampled turtles through laparoscopic examination of their gonads. Our results demonstrate that for this particular population of loggerheads, sex ratios (3Females:1Male) had not significantly changed over a 10 year period (1998-2007), nor showed any significant difference among 5-cm straight carapace length (SCL) size classes. Ultimately, these findings provide a basis for comparison with future sex ratios, and highlight the importance of establishing similar long-term studies monitoring secondary, rather than primary, sex ratios, so that needed mitigation measures to climate change impacts can be implemented.

  18. Sex-ratio control erodes sexual selection, revealing evolutionary feedback from adaptive plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Tim W; Kuijper, Bram; Weissing, Franz J; Pen, Ido

    2011-09-20

    Female choice is a powerful selective force, driving the elaboration of conspicuous male ornaments. This process of sexual selection has profound implications for many life-history decisions, including sex allocation. For example, females with attractive partners should produce more sons, because these sons will inherit their father's attractiveness and enjoy high mating success, thereby yielding greater fitness returns than daughters. However, previous research has overlooked the fact that there is a reciprocal feedback from life-history strategies to sexual selection. Here, using a simple mathematical model, we show that if mothers adaptively control offspring sex in relation to their partner's attractiveness, sexual selection is weakened and male ornamentation declines. This weakening occurs because the ability to determine offspring sex reduces the fitness difference between females with attractive and unattractive partners. We use individual-based, evolutionary simulations to show that this result holds under more biologically realistic conditions. Sexual selection and sex allocation thus interact in a dynamic fashion: The evolution of conspicuous male ornaments favors sex-ratio adjustment, but this conditional strategy then undermines the very same process that generated it, eroding sexual selection. We predict that, all else being equal, the most elaborate sexual displays should be seen in species with little or no control over offspring sex. The feedback process we have described points to a more general evolutionary principle, in which a conditional strategy weakens directional selection on another trait by reducing fitness differences.

  19. Patterns of split sex ratio in ants have multiple evolutionary causes based on different within-colony conflicts.

    PubMed

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent

    2009-10-23

    Split sex ratio-a pattern where colonies within a population specialize in either male or queen production-is a widespread phenomenon in ants and other social Hymenoptera. It has often been attributed to variation in colony kin structure, which affects the degree of queen-worker conflict over optimal sex allocation. However, recent findings suggest that split sex ratio is a more diverse phenomenon, which can evolve for multiple reasons. Here, we provide an overview of the main conditions favouring split sex ratio. We show that each split sex-ratio type arises due to a different combination of factors determining colony kin structure, queen or worker control over sex ratio and the type of conflict between colony members.

  20. The human operational sex ratio: effects of marriage, concealed ovulation, and menopause on mate competition.

    PubMed

    Marlowe, Frank W; Berbesque, J Colette

    2012-12-01

    Among mammals, male-male competition for sexual access to females frequently involves fighting. Larger body size gives males an advantage in fighting, which explains why males tend to be larger than females in many species, including anthropoid primates. Mitani et al. derived a formula to measure the operational sex ratio (OSR) to reflect the degree of male-male competition using the number of reproductively available males to females who are cycling and capable of conceiving. The OSR should predict the degree of sexual dimorphism in body mass-at least if male-male competition involves much fighting or threatening. Here, we use hunter-gatherer demographic data and the Mitani et al. formula to calculate the human OSR. We show that humans have a much lower degree of body mass sexual dimorphism than is predicted by our OSR. We suggest this is because human competition rarely involves fighting. In human hunter-gatherer societies, differences in the ages of marriage have an impact on competition in that the age of males at first marriage is younger when there is a lower percentage of married men with two or more wives, and older when there is a higher percentage of married men with two or more wives. We discuss the implications of this for females, along with the effects of two key life history traits that influence the OSR, concealed ovulation and menopause. While menopause decreases the number of reproductively available females to males and thus increases male-male competition, concealed ovulation decreases male-male competition. Finally, we discuss the importance of mostly monogamous mate bonds in human evolution.

  1. Age and sex determination of juvenile band-tailed pigeons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, J.A.; Braun, C.E.

    1978-01-01

    Captive band-tailed pigeons (Columbafasciata) were studied to document progression of molts and plumages from juvenal to adult age. Immature pigeons began the post-juvenal molt at 35 days which continued up to 340 days. The only 3 plumage characters useful for identification and estimation of age were presence of juvenal lesser, middle, and greater secondary coverts, juvenal secondaries, and juvenal primaries. While juvenal primaries were still present, hatching dates could be estimated up to 252 days (N = 84). Secondary feather presence and molt stage could be used to identify juvenile pigeons for more than 340 days (N = 24). Using coloration of the crown and breast feathers, 96 percent of the immature pigeons examined (106 of 110) at 80 days of age were classified accurately as to sex.

  2. Haldane's rule is linked to extraordinary sex ratios and sperm length in stalk-eyed flies.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Gerald S; Christianson, Sarah J; Brand, Cara L; Ru, George; Shell, Wyatt

    2014-11-01

    We use three allopatric populations of the stalk-eyed fly Teleopsis dalmanni from Southeast Asia to test two predictions made by the sex chromosome drive hypothesis for Haldane's rule. The first is that modifiers that suppress or enhance drive should evolve rapidly and independently in isolated populations. The second is that drive loci or modifiers should also cause sterility in hybrid males. We tested these predictions by assaying the fertility of 2066 males derived from backcross experiments involving two pairs of populations and found that the proportion of mated males that fail to produce any offspring ranged from 38 to 60% among crosses with some males producing strongly female-biased or male-biased sex ratios. After genotyping each male at 25-28 genetic markers we found quantitative trait loci (QTL) that jointly influence male sterility, sperm length, and biased progeny sex ratios in each pair of populations, but almost no shared QTL between population crosses. We also discovered that the extant X(SR) chromosome has no effect on sex ratio or sterility in these backcross males. Whether shared QTL are caused by linkage or pleiotropy requires additional study. Nevertheless, these results indicate the presence of a "cryptic" drive system that is currently masked by suppressing elements that are associated with sterility and sperm length within but not between populations and, therefore, must have evolved since the populations became isolated, i.e., in <100,000 years. We discuss how genes that influence sperm length may contribute to hybrid sterility.

  3. Logging Affects Fledgling Sex Ratios and Baseline Corticosterone in a Forest Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Leshyk, Rhiannon; Nol, Erica; Burke, Dawn M.; Burness, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Silviculture (logging) creates a disturbance to forested environments. The degree to which forests are modified depends on the logging prescription and forest stand characteristics. In this study we compared the effects of two methods of group-selection (“moderate” and “heavy”) silviculture (GSS) and undisturbed reference stands on stress and offspring sex ratios of a forest interior species, the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada. Blood samples were taken from nestlings for corticosterone and molecular sexing. We found that logging creates a disturbance that is stressful for nestling Ovenbirds, as illustrated by elevated baseline corticosterone in cut sites. Ovenbirds nesting in undisturbed reference forest produce fewer male offspring per brood (proportion male = 30%) while logging with progressively greater forest disturbance, shifted the offspring sex ratio towards males (proportion male: moderate = 50%, heavy = 70%). If Ovenbirds in undisturbed forests usually produce female-biased broods, then the production of males as a result of logging may disrupt population viability. We recommend a broad examination of nestling sex ratios in response to anthropogenic disturbance to determine the generality of our findings. PMID:22432000

  4. Effects of diets supplemented by fish oil on sex ratio of pups in bitch.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Akbarinejad, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation prior to mating on secondary sex ratio of pups (the proportion of males at birth) in bitches. Sixty five bitches (German Shepherd, n = 35; Husky, n = 30) were enrolled in the study. Bitches (140-150 days post-estrus) were given 2% per dry matter intake palm oil and fish oil in the control (n = 33) and treatment (n = 32) groups, respectively. To induce estrus, bitches were received equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration (50 IU kg(-1)) 30 days after nutritional supplementation followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (500 IU per dog) seven days later. Bitches were introduced to dogs of the same breed after hCG administration. The weight of bitches was increased over time (p < 0.05), but their weight change was not different between two groups (p > 0.05). The mating rate, pregnancy rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment and breed. Secondary sex ratio was higher in the treatment (105/164; 64.00%) than in the control (68/147; 46.30%) group (p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 2.068). Moreover, secondary sex ratio was higher in Husky bitches (88/141; 62.40%) compared to German Shepherd (85/170; 50.00%; p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 1.661). In conclusion, the present study showed that inclusion of fish oil in the diet of bitches prior to mating could increase the proportion of male pups at birth. In addition, it appears that there might be variation among dog breeds with regard to the sex ratio of offspring. PMID:27482354

  5. Effects of diets supplemented by fish oil on sex ratio of pups in bitch.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Akbarinejad, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation prior to mating on secondary sex ratio of pups (the proportion of males at birth) in bitches. Sixty five bitches (German Shepherd, n = 35; Husky, n = 30) were enrolled in the study. Bitches (140-150 days post-estrus) were given 2% per dry matter intake palm oil and fish oil in the control (n = 33) and treatment (n = 32) groups, respectively. To induce estrus, bitches were received equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration (50 IU kg(-1)) 30 days after nutritional supplementation followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (500 IU per dog) seven days later. Bitches were introduced to dogs of the same breed after hCG administration. The weight of bitches was increased over time (p < 0.05), but their weight change was not different between two groups (p > 0.05). The mating rate, pregnancy rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment and breed. Secondary sex ratio was higher in the treatment (105/164; 64.00%) than in the control (68/147; 46.30%) group (p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 2.068). Moreover, secondary sex ratio was higher in Husky bitches (88/141; 62.40%) compared to German Shepherd (85/170; 50.00%; p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 1.661). In conclusion, the present study showed that inclusion of fish oil in the diet of bitches prior to mating could increase the proportion of male pups at birth. In addition, it appears that there might be variation among dog breeds with regard to the sex ratio of offspring.

  6. Effects of diets supplemented by fish oil on sex ratio of pups in bitch

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Akbarinejad, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation prior to mating on secondary sex ratio of pups (the proportion of males at birth) in bitches. Sixty five bitches (German Shepherd, n = 35; Husky, n = 30) were enrolled in the study. Bitches (140-150 days post-estrus) were given 2% per dry matter intake palm oil and fish oil in the control (n = 33) and treatment (n = 32) groups, respectively. To induce estrus, bitches were received equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration (50 IU kg-1) 30 days after nutritional supplementation followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (500 IU per dog) seven days later. Bitches were introduced to dogs of the same breed after hCG administration. The weight of bitches was increased over time (p < 0.05), but their weight change was not different between two groups (p > 0.05). The mating rate, pregnancy rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment and breed. Secondary sex ratio was higher in the treatment (105/164; 64.00%) than in the control (68/147; 46.30%) group (p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 2.068). Moreover, secondary sex ratio was higher in Husky bitches (88/141; 62.40%) compared to German Shepherd (85/170; 50.00%; p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 1.661). In conclusion, the present study showed that inclusion of fish oil in the diet of bitches prior to mating could increase the proportion of male pups at birth. In addition, it appears that there might be variation among dog breeds with regard to the sex ratio of offspring. PMID:27482354

  7. Secular trend of sex ratio and symptom patterns among children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Baker, Sidney M; Milivojevich, Andrew; Kraycar, Theresa; Holt, Brett; Gade, Satya

    2014-05-01

    An information technology invention embodied in a website serving the interests of the autism community was designed to "let the data talk." By its use, the authors have detected a downward temporal trend in 2013 in the sex ratio of 2431 members of Autism360.org from a yearly average between 2010 and 2012 of 4.24 to 3.01 in 2013. As of the first two months of 2014, the average sex ratio is 2.69. We report contemporaneous changes in previously reported male vs female symptom patterns. Such changes suggest a convergence in which distinctive severity of certain grouped central nervous, emotional, and immune profile items in females have diminished toward that of males. The data also show correlations among these profile items that add further credence to the sex ratio findings. A wider dispersion of the female data as compared with the male data was found in the year preceding the downward trend in the mean sex ratio. The authors suggest that such a trend toward an increase in the variance of the data points to instability in the biological system-the autism spectrum. We conclude that public policy would be better served by monitoring changes in the standard deviation as compared with the mean in large data sets to better anticipate changes. The findings we report raise questions based on known sex differences in detoxification chemistry. One such question would be whether maternal, fetal, or individual exposure to a novel environmental factor may have breached the taller fence of female protection from toxins. PMID:24944876

  8. Population sex-ratio affecting behavior and physiology of overwintering bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2016-05-15

    Many boreal rodents are territorial during the breeding season but during winter become social and aggregate for more energy efficient thermoregulation. Communal winter nesting and social interactions are considered to play an important role for the winter survival of these species, yet the topic is relatively little explored. Females are suggested to be the initiators of winter aggregations and sometimes reported to survive better than males. This could be due to the higher social tolerance observed in overwintering females than males. Hormonal status could also affect winter behavior and survival. For instance, chronic stress can have a negative effect on survival, whereas high gonadal hormone levels, such as testosterone, often induce aggressive behavior. To test if the winter survival of females in a boreal rodent is better than that of males, and to assess the role of females in the winter aggregations, we generated bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations of three different sex ratios (male-biased, female-biased and even density) under semi-natural conditions. We monitored survival, spatial behavior and hormonal status (stress and testosterone) during two winter months. We observed no significant differences in survival between the sexes or among populations with differing sex-ratios. The degree of movement area overlap was used as an indicator of social tolerance and potential communal nesting. Individuals in male biased populations showed a tendency to be solitary, whereas in female biased populations there was an indication of winter aggregation. Females living in male-biased populations had higher stress levels than the females from the other populations. The female-biased sex-ratio induced winter breeding and elevated testosterone levels in males. Thus, our results suggest that the sex-ratio of the overwintering population can lead to divergent overwintering strategies in bank voles. PMID:26976741

  9. Sensitivity to cocaine conditioned reward depends on sex and age

    PubMed Central

    Zakharova, Elena; Wade, Dean; Izenwasser, Sari

    2009-01-01

    Human and animal laboratory studies show that females and males respond differently to drugs and that drug administration during adolescence leads to different behavioral effects than during adulthood. Adult female rats are more sensitive to the behavioral effects of cocaine than adult males, but it is not known if the same effect of sex exists during adolescence. In the present study, sensitivity to the conditioned reward of cocaine was evaluated using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm where adolescent (PND 34) and adult (PND 66) male and female rats were trained and tested for the development of CPP to multiple doses of cocaine. Female rats developed CPP at lower doses than males, regardless of age. In addition, adolescent male and female rats established a CPP at lower doses of cocaine than adult male and female rats, respectively. Thus, both age and sex altered cocaine conditioned reward with the order of sensitivity being adolescent females > adult females > adolescent males > adult males. These data show that adolescents are more sensitive to the conditioned rewarding properties of cocaine than adults and that females respond to lower doses of cocaine compared to males regardless of age. PMID:19032962

  10. Geographic segregation and evidence of density-dependent changes in sex ratios in an abundant colonial waterbird.

    PubMed

    Dorr, Brian S; Hanson-Dorr, Katie C; DeVault, Travis L; Guillaumet, Alban; Barras, Scott C

    2014-11-01

    Demographic information, such as geographic segregation of sexes and sex ratio data, is needed to develop, model and evaluate conservation and management strategies for wildlife. A variety of physiological, behavioral and environmental factors can influence segregation of sexes and sex ratios, many of which originate with density-dependent processes. Departure from 50:50 sex ratios of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) collected during control efforts in breeding and wintering areas across their eastern range of the USA were evaluated using using a Z-test as well as Stouffer's weighted Z-tests. In addition, a specifically-designed randomization test was used to evaluate density-dependent effects on primary sex ratios in cormorants from egg collections and colony nest count data over a 21-year period. Cormorants collected from breeding colonies were strongly male-biased, whereas cormorants collected from feeding flocks were slightly biased toward females. Cormorants were partly segregated by sex on the wintering grounds, with significantly more males found in areas with intensive channel catfish aquaculture. The null hypothesis that females produced a balanced sex ratio independent of number of nesting cormorants was rejected: more male embryos were produced during rapid population growth, whereas at maximum nesting number more female embryos were produced. Once populations stabilized, the sex ratio was more equal. This examination of sex ratios indicates that different management methods and locations result in sex-biased culling of cormorants. Sex-biased culling in cormorants could make population reduction efforts more efficient and reduce overall take. We suggest further research to examine density-dependent effects on primary sex ratios documented here.

  11. Between-year variation in population sex ratio increases with complexity of the breeding system in Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent

    2011-06-01

    While adaptive adjustment of sex ratio in the function of colony kin structure and food availability commonly occurs in social Hymenoptera, long-term studies have revealed substantial unexplained between-year variation in sex ratio at the population level. In order to identify factors that contribute to increased between-year variation in population sex ratio, we conducted a comparative analysis across 47 Hymenoptera species differing in their breeding system. We found that between-year variation in population sex ratio steadily increased as one moved from solitary species, to primitively eusocial species, to single-queen eusocial species, to multiple-queen eusocial species. Specifically, between-year variation in population sex ratio was low (6.6% of total possible variation) in solitary species, which is consistent with the view that in solitary species, sex ratio can vary only in response to fluctuations in ecological factors such as food availability. In contrast, we found significantly higher (19.5%) between-year variation in population sex ratio in multiple-queen eusocial species, which supports the view that in these species, sex ratio can also fluctuate in response to temporal changes in social factors such as queen number and queen-worker control over sex ratio, as well as factors influencing caste determination. The simultaneous adjustment of sex ratio in response to temporal fluctuations in ecological and social factors seems to preclude the existence of a single sex ratio optimum. The absence of such an optimum may reflect an additional cost associated with the evolution of complex breeding systems in Hymenoptera societies. PMID:21597259

  12. An evaluation of sex-age-kill (SAK) model performance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Skalski, John R.; Townsend, Richard L.; Diefenbach, Duane R.; Boyce, Mark S.; Hansen, Lonnie P.; Kammermeyer, Kent

    2009-01-01

    The sex-age-kill (SAK) model is widely used to estimate abundance of harvested large mammals, including white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Despite a long history of use, few formal evaluations of SAK performance exist. We investigated how violations of the stable age distribution and stationary population assumption, changes to male or female harvest, stochastic effects (i.e., random fluctuations in recruitment and survival), and sampling efforts influenced SAK estimation. When the simulated population had a stable age distribution and λ > 1, the SAK model underestimated abundance. Conversely, when λ < 1, the SAK overestimated abundance. When changes to male harvest were introduced, SAK estimates were opposite the true population trend. In contrast, SAK estimates were robust to changes in female harvest rates. Stochastic effects caused SAK estimates to fluctuate about their equilibrium abundance, but the effect dampened as the size of the surveyed population increased. When we considered both stochastic effects and sampling error at a deer management unit scale the resultant abundance estimates were within ±121.9% of the true population level 95% of the time. These combined results demonstrate extreme sensitivity to model violations and scale of analysis. Without changes to model formulation, the SAK model will be biased when λ ≠ 1. Furthermore, any factor that alters the male harvest rate, such as changes to regulations or changes in hunter attitudes, will bias population estimates. Sex-age-kill estimates may be precise at large spatial scales, such as the state level, but less so at the individual management unit level. Alternative models, such as statistical age-at-harvest models, which require similar data types, might allow for more robust, broad-scale demographic assessments.

  13. Environmental factors influencing adult sex ratio in Poecilia reticulata: laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    McKellar, A E; Hendry, A P

    2011-10-01

    The potential causes of adult sex ratio variation in guppies Poecilia reticulata were tested in laboratory experiments that evaluated the mortality rates of male and female P. reticulata exposed to potential predators (Hart's rivulus Rivulus hartii and freshwater prawns Macrobrachium crenulatum) and to different resource levels. Poecilia reticulata mortality increased in the presence of R. hartii and M. crenulatum, and low resource levels had an effect on mortality only in the presence of M. crenulatum. Rivulus hartii preyed more often on male than on female P. reticulata, and this sex-biased predation was not simply the result of males being smaller than females. In contrast, no sex-biased mortality was attributable to M. crenulatum or low resource levels.

  14. Environmental factors influencing adult sex ratio in Poecilia reticulata: laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    McKellar, A E; Hendry, A P

    2011-10-01

    The potential causes of adult sex ratio variation in guppies Poecilia reticulata were tested in laboratory experiments that evaluated the mortality rates of male and female P. reticulata exposed to potential predators (Hart's rivulus Rivulus hartii and freshwater prawns Macrobrachium crenulatum) and to different resource levels. Poecilia reticulata mortality increased in the presence of R. hartii and M. crenulatum, and low resource levels had an effect on mortality only in the presence of M. crenulatum. Rivulus hartii preyed more often on male than on female P. reticulata, and this sex-biased predation was not simply the result of males being smaller than females. In contrast, no sex-biased mortality was attributable to M. crenulatum or low resource levels. PMID:21967582

  15. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  16. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  17. Effects of social and climatic factors on birth sex ratio in Macaca mulatta in Mount Taihangshan area.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jundong; Wang, Baishi; Wang, Zhenlong; Liu, Jindong; Lu, Jiqi

    2015-03-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts the optimal investment to male and female offspring. However, a biased sex ratio requires explanations as to why the deviation occurs. Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is the most widely distributed nonhuman primate species and the Taihangshan macaque (Macaca mulatta tcheliensis) occupies the northern limit of all rhesus macaque natural populations worldwide. We observed one macaque troop (Wangwu-1 [WW-1]) inhabiting Taihangshan Macaque National Nature Reserve and recorded all birth events and the sex of newborn macaques from 2004 to 2013. Our aim was to apply the Trivers-Willard hypothesis to this free-ranging rhesus macaque troop, and to understand the relationship between climatic parameters (precipitation and temperature) and birth sex ratio. We found that the total newborn macaques showed a female-biased sex ratio at birth in the WW-1 troop, but there were no significant biased birth sex ratios in all matriarchs and in high-ranking and middle-ranking matrilineal units. However, the low-ranking macaque matrilineal unit was significantly female-biased. Moreover, we found that the annual precipitation of the previous year was positively associated with the birth sex ratio, and there was an interactive effect of troop size and current winter temperature on the birth sex ratio. The underlying mechanisms for the effects of social and climatic factors on birth sex ratio could be complex, and we discuss several plausible explanations.

  18. Stochastic variation in sex ratios in infant mortality rates due to small samples in provisioned Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) populations.

    PubMed

    Kurita, Hiroyuki

    2010-01-01

    Sex differences in infant mortality in provisioned Japanese macaque populations were examined using 10 data sets from five populations. The results indicate that there was no available data set in which a sex difference in infant mortality was statistically significant. To examine whether the observed sex ratios in infant mortality rates could be the product of stochastic variation in small samples, a correlation between sample size and the magnitude of sex ratios in infant mortality rates was also examined. Notably, the magnitude of sex ratios in infant mortality rates declined significantly as sample sizes increased. These results suggest that previously reported marked sex ratios in infant mortality could be the product of stochastic variation in small samples.

  19. Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles inhabiting Buck Island Reef national monument, U.S. Virgin Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geis, A.; Wibbels, T.; Phillips, B.; Hillis-Starr, Z.; Meylan, A.; Meylan, P.; Diez, C.; Van Dam, R.

    2003-01-01

    Hawksbill Seaturtles have temperature-dependent sex determination. As such, the resulting sex ratios are of conservational and ecological significance. Buck Island Reef is an interesting location for sex ratio studies since it represents a natural and unexploited foraging ground for hawksbills in the Caribbean. To examine sex ratios, blood samples were obtained from juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles captured on Buck Island Reef over a four-year period. We used a radioimmunoassay to determine testosterone levels in those samples and compared those values to testosterone levels of juvenile hawksbills from the Caribbean whose sex has been verified by laparoscopy. The results of this study reveal a significantly female-biased sex ratio (approximately 80% female) occurs in this juvenile aggregation inhabiting Buck Island Reef.

  20. Sex ratio following preconception low-dose aspirin in women with prior pregnancy loss

    PubMed Central

    Radin, Rose G.; Mumford, Sunni L.; Silver, Robert M.; Lesher, Laurie L.; Galai, Noya; Faraggi, David; Wactawski-Wende, Jean; Townsend, Janet M.; Lynch, Anne M.; Simhan, Hyagriv N.; Sjaarda, Lindsey A.; Perkins, Neil J.; Zarek, Shvetha M.; Schliep, Karen C.; Schisterman, Enrique F.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Several lines of evidence suggest that male embryos may have greater vulnerability than female embryos to disordered inflammation; therefore, antiinflammatory drugs, such as low-dose aspirin (LDA), may alter the sex ratio. Here, we assessed the effect of LDA on male live birth and male offspring, incorporating pregnancy losses (n = 56) via genetic assessment, as part of a parallel-design, block-randomized, placebo-controlled trial of preconception LDA. METHODS. Participants (615 treated with LDA, 613 treated with placebo) ranged in age from 18 to 40 years of age, with 1 to 2 prior pregnancy losses. We estimated the intention-to-treat (ITT) risk ratio (RR) and 95% CI and assessed interaction with baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) serum concentration — a marker of systemic inflammation. RESULTS. Among the 1,078 women who completed follow-up (535 treated with LDA, 543 treated with placebo), the male live birth ITT RR equaled 1.31 (95% CI: 1.07–1.59). With increasing tertile of hsCRP, the proportion of males at birth decreased in the placebo group, and the effect of LDA on male live birth increased (first tertile: 48% male in LDA vs. 52% in placebo, ITT RR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.70–1.35; second tertile: 57% male in LDA vs. 43% in placebo, ITT RR = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.98–1.90; third tertile: 53% male in LDA vs. 35% in placebo, ITT RR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.13–2.57; P interaction = 0.03). Analysis of pregnancy with male offspring yielded similar results. CONCLUSION. Initiation of LDA prior to conception restored numbers of male live births and pregnancy with male offspring among women with 1 to 2 prior pregnancy losses. Moreover, our data suggest that LDA modulates inflammation that would otherwise reduce the conception or survival of male embryos. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00467363. FUNDING. Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of

  1. New Horizons: Dietary protein, ageing and the Okinawan ratio.

    PubMed

    Le Couteur, David G; Solon-Biet, Samantha; Wahl, Devin; Cogger, Victoria C; Willcox, Bradley J; Willcox, D Craig; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-01

    Nutrition has profound effects on ageing and lifespan. Caloric restriction is the major nutritional intervention that historically has been shown to influence lifespan and/or healthspan in many animal models. Studies have suggested that a reduction in protein intake can also increase lifespan, albeit not as dramatically as caloric restriction. More recent research based on nutritional geometry has attempted to define the effects of nutrition on ageing over a broad landscape of dietary macronutrients and energy content. Such studies in insects and mice indicate that animals with ad libitum access to low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets have longest lifespans. Remarkably, the optimum content and ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrates for ageing in experimental animals are almost identical to those in the traditional diets of the long-lived people on the island of Okinawa. PMID:27130207

  2. Thermal fluctuation within nests and predicted sex ratio of Morelet's Crocodile.

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; López-Luna, Marco A; Cupul-Magaña, Fabio G

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the interplay between thermal variations and sex ratio in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination is the first step for developing long-term conservation strategies. In case of crocodilians, the information is fragmentary and insufficient for establishing a general framework to consider how thermal fluctuation influence sex determination under natural conditions. The main goal of this study was to analyze thermal variation in nests of Crocodylus moreletii and to discuss the potential implications for predicting offspring sex ratio. The study was carried out at the Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar N° 2 and at the Sistemas Productivos Cocodrilo, Campeche, Mexico. Data was collected in the nesting season of Morelet's Crocodiles during three consecutive seasons (2007-2009). Thermal fluctuations for multiple areas of the nest chamber were registered by data loggers. We calculate the constant temperature equivalent based on thermal profiles among nests to assess whether there are differences between the nest temperature and its equivalent to constant temperature. We observed that mean nest temperature was only different among nests, while daily thermal fluctuations vary depending on the depth position within the nest chamber, years and nests. The constant temperature equivalent was different among and within nests, but not among survey years. We observed differences between constant temperature equivalent and mean nest temperature both at the top and in the middle of the nest cavities, but were not significantly different at the bottom of nest cavities. Our results enable examine and discuss the relevance of daily thermal fluctuations to predict sex ratio of the Morelet's Crocodile. PMID:27157330

  3. Thermal fluctuation within nests and predicted sex ratio of Morelet's Crocodile.

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; López-Luna, Marco A; Cupul-Magaña, Fabio G

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the interplay between thermal variations and sex ratio in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination is the first step for developing long-term conservation strategies. In case of crocodilians, the information is fragmentary and insufficient for establishing a general framework to consider how thermal fluctuation influence sex determination under natural conditions. The main goal of this study was to analyze thermal variation in nests of Crocodylus moreletii and to discuss the potential implications for predicting offspring sex ratio. The study was carried out at the Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar N° 2 and at the Sistemas Productivos Cocodrilo, Campeche, Mexico. Data was collected in the nesting season of Morelet's Crocodiles during three consecutive seasons (2007-2009). Thermal fluctuations for multiple areas of the nest chamber were registered by data loggers. We calculate the constant temperature equivalent based on thermal profiles among nests to assess whether there are differences between the nest temperature and its equivalent to constant temperature. We observed that mean nest temperature was only different among nests, while daily thermal fluctuations vary depending on the depth position within the nest chamber, years and nests. The constant temperature equivalent was different among and within nests, but not among survey years. We observed differences between constant temperature equivalent and mean nest temperature both at the top and in the middle of the nest cavities, but were not significantly different at the bottom of nest cavities. Our results enable examine and discuss the relevance of daily thermal fluctuations to predict sex ratio of the Morelet's Crocodile.

  4. Divorce and infidelity are associated with skewed adult sex ratios in birds.

    PubMed

    Liker, András; Freckleton, Robert P; Székely, Tamás

    2014-04-14

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a fundamental concept in population demography, and recent theory suggests that ASR plays a central role in social behavior, mating systems, and parental care. Unbalanced ASRs are predicted to influence pair-bond and mating behavior, since the rarer sex in the population has more potential partners to mate with than the more common sex. Here we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to test whether ASR is related to three major aspects of mating behavior: divorce, social polygamy, and pair-bond infidelity. ASR is strongly correlated with long-term pair bonds, since the divorce rate is higher in species with a female-biased sex ratio, indicating that mate change by pair members and/or breaking of pair bonds by unmated individuals is more frequent when females outnumber males. Short-term pair bonds are also associated with unbalanced ASRs: males are more commonly polygamous when females outnumber males, and conversely, females are more polygamous when males outnumber females. Furthermore, infidelity increases with male-biased ASR in socially monogamous birds, suggesting that male coercion and/or female willingness to cheat the partner are facilitated by male-biased ASR. Our results provide the first comprehensive support for the proposition that ASR influences multiple aspects of pair-bond and mating behavior in wild populations. PMID:24656831

  5. Fetal sex differences in human chorionic gonadotropin fluctuate by maternal race, age, weight and by gestational age

    PubMed Central

    Adibi, J. J.; Lee, M. K.; Saha, S.; Boscardin, W. J.; Apfel, A.; Currier, R. J.

    2015-01-01

    Circulating levels of the placental glycoprotein hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are higher in women carrying female v. male fetuses; yet, the significance of this difference with respect to maternal factors, environmental exposures and neonatal outcomes is unknown. As a first step in evaluating the biologic and clinical significance of sex differences in hCG, we conducted a population-level analysis to assess its stability across subgroups. Subjects were women carrying singleton pregnancies who participated in prenatal and newborn screening programs in CA from 2009 to 2012 (1.1 million serum samples). hCG was measured in the first and second trimesters and fetal sex was determined from the neonatal record. Multivariate linear models were used to estimate hCG means in women carrying female and male fetuses. We report fluctuations in the ratios of female to male hCG by maternal factors and by gestational age. hCG was higher in the case of a female fetus by 11 and 8% in the first and second trimesters, respectively (P <0.0001). There were small (1–5%) fluctuations in the sex difference by maternal race, weight and age. The female-to-male ratio in hCG decreased from 17 to 2% in the first trimester, and then increased from 2 to 19% in the second trimester (P <0.0001). We demonstrate within a well enumerated, diverse US population that the sex difference in hCG overall is stable. Small fluctuations within population subgroups may be relevant to environmental and physiologic effects on the placenta and can be probed further using these types of data. PMID:26242396

  6. Contrasting brood-sex ratio flexibility in two opiine (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitoids of tephritid (Diptera) fruit files

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mass-rearing of fruit fly parasitoids for augmentative release would be more economical if production could be biased towards females. If sex ratios are ever to be manipulated under rearing conditions it is important to determine if, then understand why, sex ratio flexibility exists. Unequal brood-s...

  7. Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in Fish Revisited: Prevalence, a Single Sex Ratio Response Pattern, and Possible Effects of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Ospina-Álvarez, Natalia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2008-01-01

    Background In gonochoristic vertebrates, sex determination mechanisms can be classified as genotypic (GSD) or temperature-dependent (TSD). Some cases of TSD in fish have been questioned, but the prevalent view is that TSD is very common in this group of animals, with three different response patterns to temperature. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed field and laboratory data for the 59 fish species where TSD has been explicitly or implicitly claimed so far. For each species, we compiled data on the presence or absence of sex chromosomes and determined if the sex ratio response was obtained within temperatures that the species experiences in the wild. If so, we studied whether this response was statistically significant. We found evidence that many cases of observed sex ratio shifts in response to temperature reveal thermal alterations of an otherwise predominately GSD mechanism rather than the presence of TSD. We also show that in those fish species that actually have TSD, sex ratio response to increasing temperatures invariably results in highly male-biased sex ratios, and that even small changes of just 1–2°C can significantly alter the sex ratio from 1∶1 (males∶females) up to 3∶1 in both freshwater and marine species. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that TSD in fish is far less widespread than currently believed, suggesting that TSD is clearly the exception in fish sex determination. Further, species with TSD exhibit only one general sex ratio response pattern to temperature. However, the viability of some fish populations with TSD can be compromised through alterations in their sex ratios as a response to temperature fluctuations of the magnitude predicted by climate change. PMID:18665231

  8. Effects of thyroid endocrine manipulation on sex-related gene expression and population sex ratios in Zebrafish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Prakash; Tang, Song; Mayer, Gregory D.; Patino, Reynaldo

    2016-01-01

    Thyroid hormone reportedly induces masculinization of genetic females and goitrogen treatment delays testicular differentiation (ovary-to-testis transformation) in genetic males of Zebrafish. This study explored potential molecular mechanisms of these phenomena. Zebrafish were treated with thyroxine (T4, 2 nM), goitrogen [methimazole (MZ), 0.15 mM], MZ (0.15 mM) and T4 (2 nM) (rescue treatment), or reconstituted water (control) from 3 to 33 days postfertilization (dpf) and maintained in control water until 45 dpf. Whole fish were collected during early (25 dpf) and late (45 dpf) testicular differentiation for transcript abundance analysis of selected male (dmrt1, amh, ar) and female (cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, esr2b) sex-related genes by quantitative RT-PCR, and fold-changes relative to control values were determined. Additional fish were sampled at 45 dpf for histological assessment of gonadal sex. The T4 and rescue treatments caused male-biased populations, and T4 alone induced precocious puberty in ∼50% of males. Male-biased sex ratios were accompanied by increased expression of amh and ar and reduced expression of cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, and esr2b at 25 and 45 dpf and, unexpectedly, reduced expression of dmrt1 at 45 dpf. Goitrogen exposure increased the proportion of individuals with ovaries (per previous studies interpreted as delay in testicular differentiation of genetic males), and at 25 and 45 dpf reduced the expression of amh and ar and increased the expression of esr1 (only at 25 dpf), esr2a, and esr2b. Notably, cyp19a1a transcript was reduced but via non-thyroidal pathways (not restored by rescue treatment). In conclusion, the masculinizing activity of T4 at the population level may be due to its ability to inhibit female and stimulate male sex-related genes in larvae, while the inability of MZ to induce cyp19a1a, which is necessary for ovarian differentiation, may explain why its “feminizing” activity on gonadal

  9. Effects of thyroid endocrine manipulation on sex-related gene expression and population sex ratios in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prakash; Tang, Song; Mayer, Gregory D; Patiño, Reynaldo

    2016-09-01

    Thyroid hormone reportedly induces masculinization of genetic females and goitrogen treatment delays testicular differentiation (ovary-to-testis transformation) in genetic males of Zebrafish. This study explored potential molecular mechanisms of these phenomena. Zebrafish were treated with thyroxine (T4, 2nM), goitrogen [methimazole (MZ), 0.15mM], MZ (0.15mM) and T4 (2nM) (rescue treatment), or reconstituted water (control) from 3 to 33days postfertilization (dpf) and maintained in control water until 45dpf. Whole fish were collected during early (25dpf) and late (45dpf) testicular differentiation for transcript abundance analysis of selected male (dmrt1, amh, ar) and female (cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, esr2b) sex-related genes by quantitative RT-PCR, and fold-changes relative to control values were determined. Additional fish were sampled at 45dpf for histological assessment of gonadal sex. The T4 and rescue treatments caused male-biased populations, and T4 alone induced precocious puberty in ∼50% of males. Male-biased sex ratios were accompanied by increased expression of amh and ar and reduced expression of cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, and esr2b at 25 and 45dpf and, unexpectedly, reduced expression of dmrt1 at 45dpf. Goitrogen exposure increased the proportion of individuals with ovaries (per previous studies interpreted as delay in testicular differentiation of genetic males), and at 25 and 45dpf reduced the expression of amh and ar and increased the expression of esr1 (only at 25dpf), esr2a, and esr2b. Notably, cyp19a1a transcript was reduced but via non-thyroidal pathways (not restored by rescue treatment). In conclusion, the masculinizing activity of T4 at the population level may be due to its ability to inhibit female and stimulate male sex-related genes in larvae, while the inability of MZ to induce cyp19a1a, which is necessary for ovarian differentiation, may explain why its "feminizing" activity on gonadal sex is not permanent. PMID:27255368

  10. Age- and sex-dependent change in stratum corneum sphingolipids.

    PubMed

    Denda, M; Koyama, J; Hori, J; Horii, I; Takahashi, M; Hara, M; Tagami, H

    1993-01-01

    We measured six stratum corneum sphingolipid species (ceramides 1-6) in 26 males and 27 females, and found a significant change in their percentage composition only among female subjects of different age groups. There was a significant increase in ceramide 1 and 2 with a corresponding decrease in ceramide 3 and 6 from prepubertal age to adulthood. Thereafter the ratio of ceramide 2 to total sphingolipids decreased with age in contrast to ceramide 3 which showed an increase. Such a pattern of change in the aging population is different from that observed in scaly skin experimentally induced by tape stripping. The present results suggest a significant influence of female hormones on the composition of stratum corneum sphingolipids. Moreover, the different patterns of change in sphingolipid composition of stratum corneum lipids between scales from inflammatory skin and those from aged skin also suggest that epidermal biosynthesis of sphingolipids is influenced by epidermal proliferative activity. PMID:8304781

  11. Age, sex and other factors in radiation carcinogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, R.J.M.; Carnes, B.A.

    1988-01-01

    It has been held for a long time that the young are more susceptible than adults to the induction of cancer by radiation. The data in support of that contention are accumulating especially from human studies. In an exposed population a significant fraction of the total population risk may be attributed to the risk associated with those who were young at the time of exposure. Since cancer may not appear for decades after exposure estimates of risk may require models for projecting the lifetime risk. Two such models, additive or absolute risk and multiplicative or relative risk have been used. The appropriateness of the latter model is supported by the finding in mice of a positive relationship between natural incidence and the susceptibility for induction by radiation of solid cancer. The choice of model for leukemias is not clear cut. The incidence of cancer increases with age, but the susceptibility for induction decreases. The incidence of cancers increases to a peak and then begins to decline at different ages, dependent on the type of cancer. Sex-dependent differences in both the natural incidence and the susceptibility for induction of cancer are not restricted to sex organs. For example, the susceptibility for the induction by radiation for myeloid leukemia is greater in males than females, whereas in the case of thymic lymphoma it is vice versa. 25 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Use of 35-mm color aerial photography to acquire mallard sex ratio data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferguson, E.L.; Jorde, D.G.; Sease, J.L.

    1981-01-01

    A conventional 35-mm camera equipped with an f2.8 135-mm lens and ASA 64 color film was used to acquire sex ratio data on mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) wintering in the Platte River Valley of south-central Nebraska. Prelight focusing for a distance of 30.5 metres and setting of shutter speed at 1/2000 of a second eliminated focusing and reduced image motion problems and resulted in high-resolution, large-scale aerial photography of small targets. This technique has broad application to the problem of determining sex ratios of various species of waterfowl concentrated on wintering and staging areas. The aerial photographic method was cheaper than the ground ocular method when costs were compared on a per-100 bird basis.

  13. Mutually beneficial host exploitation and ultra-biased sex ratios in quasisocial parasitoids

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xiuyun; Meng, Ling; Kapranas, Apostolos; Xu, Fuyuan; Hardy, Ian C.W.; Li, Baoping

    2014-01-01

    Selfish interests usually preclude resource sharing, but under some conditions collective actions enhance per capita gains. Such Allee effects underlay early explanations of social evolution but current understanding focusses on kin selection (inclusive fitness). We find an Allee effect that explains unusual quasisociality (cooperative brood care) among parasitoid wasps without invoking or precluding kin selection effects. In Sclerodermus harmandi, individual females produce most offspring when exploiting small hosts alone. However, larger hosts are more successfully exploited by larger groups of females, with the per-female benefits outweighing the costs of host sharing. Further, the extremely biased sex ratios (97% female) are better explained by mutually beneficial female–female interactions that increase the reproductive value of daughters (local resource enhancement), rather than by the usually invoked local mate competition between males. Thus, atypical quasisocial behaviour in a parasitoid wasp directly enhances reproductive success and selects for very extremely female-biased sex ratios. PMID:25216091

  14. Driving a hard bargain: sex ratio and male marriage success in a historical US population.

    PubMed

    Pollet, Thomas V; Nettle, Daniel

    2008-02-23

    Evolutionary psychologists have documented a widespread female preference for men of high status and resources, and evidence from several populations suggests that this preference has real effects on marriage success. Here, we show that in the US population of 1910, socioeconomic status (SES) had a positive effect on men's chances of marrying. We also test a further prediction from the biological markets theory, namely that where the local sex ratio produces an oversupply of men, women will be able to drive a harder bargain. As the sex ratio of the states increases, the effect of SES on marriage success becomes stronger, indicating increased competition between men and an increased ability to choose on the part of women.

  15. Sex-specific plasticity and genotype × sex interactions for age and size of maturity in the sheepshead swordtail, Xiphophorus birchmanni.

    PubMed

    Boulton, K; Rosenthal, G G; Grimmer, A J; Walling, C A; Wilson, A J

    2016-03-01

    Responses to sexually antagonistic selection are thought to be constrained by the shared genetic architecture of homologous male and female traits. Accordingly, adaptive sexual dimorphism depends on mechanisms such as genotype-by-sex interaction (G×S) and sex-specific plasticity to alleviate this constraint. We tested these mechanisms in a population of Xiphophorus birchmanni (sheepshead swordtail), where the intensity of male competition is expected to mediate intersexual conflict over age and size at maturity. Combining quantitative genetics with density manipulations and analysis of sex ratio variation, we confirm that maturation traits are dimorphic and heritable, but also subject to large G×S. Although cross-sex genetic correlations are close to zero, suggesting sex-linked genes with important effects on growth and maturation are likely segregating in this population, we found less evidence of sex-specific adaptive plasticity. At high density, there was a weak trend towards later and smaller maturation in both sexes. Effects of sex ratio were stronger and putatively adaptive in males but not in females. Males delay maturation in the presence of mature rivals, resulting in larger adult size with subsequent benefit to competitive ability. However, females also delay maturation in male-biased groups, incurring a loss of reproductive lifespan without apparent benefit. Thus, in highly competitive environments, female fitness may be limited by the lack of sex-specific plasticity. More generally, assuming that selection does act antagonistically on male and female maturation traits in the wild, our results demonstrate that genetic architecture of homologous traits can ease a major constraint on the evolution of adaptive dimorphism.

  16. Evolutionary ecology of human birth sex ratio under the compound influence of climate change, famine, economic crises and wars.

    PubMed

    Helle, Samuli; Helama, Samuli; Lertola, Kalle

    2009-11-01

    1. Human sex ratio at birth at the population level has been suggested to vary according to exogenous stressors such as wars, ambient temperature, ecological disasters and economic crises, but their relative effects on birth sex ratio have not been investigated. It also remains unclear whether such associations represent environmental forcing or adaptive parental response, as parents may produce the sex that has better survival prospects and fitness in a given environmental challenge. 2. We examined the simultaneous role of wars, famine, ambient temperature, economic development and total mortality rate on the annual variation of offspring birth sex ratio and whether this variation, in turn, was related to sex-specific infant mortality rate in Finland during 1865-2003. 3. Our findings show an increased excess of male births during the World War II and during warm years. Instead, economic development, famine, short-lasting Finnish civil war and total mortality rate were not related to birth sex ratio. Moreover, we found no association between annual birth sex ratio and sex-biased infant mortality rate among the concurrent cohort. 4. Our results propose that some exogenous challenges like ambient temperature and war can skew human birth sex ratio and that these deviations likely represent environmental forcing rather than adaptive parental response to such challenges. PMID:19719518

  17. Apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer disease: Genotype-specific risks by age and sex

    SciTech Connect

    Bickeboeller, H. |; Babron, M.C.; Clerget-Darpoux, F.

    1997-02-01

    The distribution of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes as a function of age and sex has been examined in a French population of 417 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and 1,030 control subjects. When compared to the APOE {epsilon}3 allele, an increased risk associated with the APOE {epsilon}4 allele (odds ratio [OR] [{epsilon}4] = 2.7 with 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0-3.6; P < .001) and a protective effect of the APOE {epsilon}2 allele (OR[{epsilon}2] = 0.5 with 95% CI = 0.3-0.98; P = .012) were retrieved. An effect of the {epsilon}4 allele dosage on susceptibility was confirmed (OR[{epsilon}4/{epsilon}4] vs. the {epsilon}3/{epsilon}3 genotype = 11.2 [95% CI = 4.0-31.6]; OR[{epsilon}3/{epsilon}4] vs. the {epsilon}3/{epsilon}3 genotype = 2.2 [95% Cl = 1.5-3.5]). The frequency of the {epsilon}4 allele was lower in male cases than in female cases, but, since a similar difference was found in controls, this does not lead to a difference in OR between sex. ORs for the {epsilon}4 allele versus the {epsilon}3 allele, OR({epsilon}4), were not equal in all age classes: OR({epsilon}4) in the extreme groups with onset at < 60 years or > 79 years were significantly lower than those from the age groups 60-79 years. In {epsilon}3/{epsilon}4 individuals, sex-specific lifetime risk estimates by age 85 years (i.e., sex-specific penetrances by age 85 years) were 0.14 (95% CI 0.04-0.30) for men and 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.28) for women. 53 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  18. Sex-ratio conflicts, kin selection, and the evolution of altruism.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Wladimir J; Schuck-Paim, Cynthia

    2002-05-14

    Kin-selection theory has thrived in the explanation of a wide variety of biological phenomena, chiefly the evolution of biological altruism as that found in sterile castes of eusocial insects. Much of the way in which it has been tested is based on the existence of conflicts over sex-ratio production within eusocial colonies. However, despite neatly showing eusocial colonies as arenas where selection at the gene level triggers the appearance of sophisticated disputes, these studies have only demonstrated the existence of genes that act by biasing sex ratios to promote their own spread. Here we argue that such genes depend on the social organization of the colonies where they are expressed, but that they are not, in any way, the precursors of these societies-the major implication being that unequivocal evidence that eusociality evolved through the action of kin-selected altruistic genes is still lacking. Additionally, we highlight the neglect of alternative theories on the explanation of both biological altruism and sex-ratio conflicts, and defend that the enthusiasm with the latter has, in some cases, led to its inappropriate use as a basis for the explanation of other biological characteristics of eusocial organisms, when accounts based on phylogenetic or physiological constraints are also available. PMID:11997461

  19. Parrotfish sex ratios recover rapidly in Bermuda following a fishing ban

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Farrell, Shay; Luckhurst, Brian E.; Box, Stephen J.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    Parrotfishes are an ecologically and commercially important teleost group whose grazing contributes to maintaining coral-dominated states on hermatypic reefs. However, overfishing has skewed sex ratios of Atlantic parrotfishes because fishing has disproportionate impacts on larger individuals, and males are generally larger than females. Whether protection from fishing may allow sex ratios to return to equilibrium is unknown, as fishing can induce irreversible ecological and/or evolutionary shifts. Bermuda banned trap fishing in 1990, creating a unique opportunity to analyse long-term responses of Atlantic parrotfishes to release from fishing. We found that sex ratios of four common parrotfishes were initially skewed, with male proportions ranging from 0.04 to 0.18. However, male proportions rebounded within 3-4 yr, equilibrating at values ranging from 0.36 to 0.54, similar to those reported at unfished sites in the region. Our results are encouraging for regional efforts to recover lost grazing function by restoring overfished herbivore populations.

  20. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Linbin; Sun, Tianai; Woldesellassie, Fitsum; Xiao, Hailian; Tao, Yun

    2015-03-01

    Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s) that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  1. WormGender - Open-Source Software for Automatic Caenorhabditis elegans Sex Ratio Measurement.

    PubMed

    Labocha, Marta K; Jung, Sang-Kyu; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Liu, Zheng; Zhong, Weiwei

    2015-01-01

    Fast and quantitative analysis of animal phenotypes is one of the major challenges of current biology. Here we report the WormGender open-source software, which is designed for accurate quantification of sex ratio in Caenorhabditis elegans. The software functions include, i) automatic recognition and counting of adult hermaphrodites and males, ii) a manual inspection feature that enables manual correction of errors, and iii) flexibility to use new training images to optimize the software for different imaging conditions. We evaluated the performance of our software by comparing manual and automated assessment of sex ratio. Our data showed that the WormGender software provided overall accurate sex ratio measurements. We further demonstrated the usage of WormGender by quantifying the high incidence of male (him) phenotype in 27 mutant strains. Mutants of nine genes (brc-1, C30G12.6, cep-1, coh-3, him-3, him-5, him-8, skr-1, unc-86) showed significant him phenotype. The WormGender is written in Java and can be installed and run on both Windows and Mac platforms. The source code is freely available together with a user manual and sample data at http://www.QuantWorm.org/. The source code and sample data are also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1541248.

  2. Back-casting sociality in extinct species: new perspectives using mass death assemblages and sex ratios.

    PubMed Central

    Berger, J; Dulamtseren, S; Cain, S; Enkkhbileg, D; Lichtman, P; Namshir, Z; Wingard, G; Reading, R

    2001-01-01

    Despite 150 years of interest in the ecology of dinosaurs, mammoths, proto-hominids and other extinct vertebrates, a general framework to recreate patterns of sociality has been elusive. Based on our recent discovery of a contemporary heterospecific mass death assemblage in the Gobi Desert (Mongolia), we fit predictions about gender-specific associations and group living in extant ungulates to extinct ones. We relied on comparative data on sex-ratio variation and body-size dimorphism, basing analyses on 38 additional mass mortality sites from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America that span 50 million years. Both extant and extinct species died in aggregations with biased adult sex ratios, but the skew (from 1:1) was greater for extinct dimorphic taxa, suggesting that sociality in these extinct species can be predicted from spatial and demographic traits of extant ones. However, extinct rhinos, horses and zebras were inconsistent with predictions about adult sex ratios, which underscores the inherent difficulty in backcasting historic patterns to some monomorphic taxa. These findings shed light not only on the sociality of extinct species but provide a sound, although limited, footing for interpretation of modern death assemblages within the context of the emerging science of taphonomy and palaeobehaviour. PMID:11209882

  3. [Sex ratio adjustment of a non-pollinating fig wasp species on Ficus semicordata in Xishuangbanna].

    PubMed

    Song, Bo; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Guan, Jun-Ming; Yang, Pei; Yang, Da-Rong

    2008-03-01

    Through controlling the number of ovipositing foundresses inside a fig, and combining with the observation of ovipositing behavior and mating behavior, this paper studied the sex ratio of Apocryptophagus sp., a species of non-pollinating fig wasps hosted on Ficus semicordata in Xishuangbanna. The results showed that female Apocryptophagus sp. started to visit the fig on the 3rd day after pollinator Ceratosolen gravelyi oviposited. Apocryptaphagus sp. oviposited on the outside of the fig, and the ovipositing lasted for 2 days. Male Apocryptophagus sp. emerged at the same time with pollinators. The males opened a small hole on the wall of gall where the females developed, and mated with the females. Mated females emerged from their development fig, and left for a new receptive fig. The sex ratio of Apocryptaphagus sp. was in agreement with local mate competition theory, i. e., it was female-biased. Meanwhile, the total number of offspring increased with increasing foundress number. In contrast, the average number of offspring per foundress decreased. At individual level, when a female laid eggs inside a fig, the sex ratio of offspring correlated negatively with the number of offspring.

  4. Population Sex Ratios: Another Consideration in the Reintroduction – Reinforcement Debate?

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Speziale, Karina L.; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Reintroduction or reinforcement (RorR) of wild populations is a common conservation strategy. Many conservation projects involve the release of individuals of poorly studied species. This may lead to inefficient results or negative impacts on the conservation efforts. Here, we provide new insights into the conservation implications and potential consequences of a skew in the sex ratio of released birds and of the number of birds supplemented for the demography of a long-lived dimorphic bird species, the Andean condor (Vulturgryphus). We demonstrate that a RorR conservation program may be less effective in conserving a species if the sex ratios of the releases and the recipient populations are not considered. We also show that releases can reduce population declines but only if carried out over long periods (i.e., several decades). This can mean high costs for release programs and the added challenge of maintaining programs over time. If RorR programs are to be implemented, bearing in mind the importance of properly assessing their effectiveness, we urge conservation researchers and managers to consider the implications of sex ratio biases for wild populations, and particularly for dimorphic species with sexually despotic behaviour. PMID:24086641

  5. Asymmetric gene flow and constraints on adaptation caused by sex ratio distorters.

    PubMed

    Telschow, A; Engelstädter, J; Yamamura, N; Hammerstein, P; Hurst, G D D

    2006-05-01

    Asymmetric gene flow is generally believed to oppose natural selection and potentially impede adaptation. Whilst the cause of asymmetric gene flow has been seen largely in terms of variation in population density over space, asymmetric gene flow can also result from varying sex ratios across subpopulations with similar population sizes. We model the process of adaptation in a scenario in which two adjacent subpopulations have different sex ratios, associated with different levels of infection with maternally inherited endosymbionts that selectively kill male hosts. Two models are analyzed in detail. First, we consider one host locus with two alleles, each of which possesses a selective advantage in one of the subpopulations. We found that local adaptation can strongly be impeded in the subpopulation with the more female biased population sex ratio. Second, we analyze host alleles that provide resistance against the male-killing (MK) endosymbionts and show that asymmetric gene flow can prevent the spread of such alleles under certain conditions. These results might have important implications for the coevolution of MK bacteria and their hosts.

  6. A comparison of methods used to obtain age ratios of snow and Canada geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.; Linder, R.L.; Springer, P.F.

    1969-01-01

    The validity of group counts, cannon-net catches, and hunter-bag checks for estimating productivity of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and small Canada geese (Branta canadensis hutchinsii-parvipes complex) was studied at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge during the falls of 1965 and 1966. Age ratios of snow geese obtained from net-trapped samples were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than from group counts at the same site. Immature snow geese were shot in a significantly greater (P < 0.01) proportion than they existed in the population as determined by group counts. Cannon-net catches and hunter-bag checks of snow and Canada geese yielded age ratios which were biased because of behavioral characteristics of the geese. Immatures of both species were less wary of trap equipment and immature snow geese were more vulnerable to the gun than adults. It was believed that age ratios from group counts of snow geese were more representative of the population than those from net catches and hunter-bag checks. Sex ratios of net-trapped geese showed a preponderance of males for adult Canada and adult and immature snow geese, whereas females were predominant in the immature segment of Canada geese. Hunter selectivity of blue- or white-phase snow geese was not observed at Sand Lake Refuge. Differential vulnerability to hunting between snow and Canada geese resulted from differences m feeding-flight behavior.

  7. The influence of demography and local mating environment on sex ratios in a wind-pollinated dioecious plant

    PubMed Central

    Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2013-01-01

    Negative frequency-dependent selection should result in equal sex ratios in large populations of dioecious flowering plants, but deviations from equality are commonly reported. A variety of ecological and genetic factors can explain biased sex ratios, although the mechanisms involved are not well understood. Most dioecious species are long-lived and/or clonal complicating efforts to identify stages during the life cycle when biases develop. We investigated the demographic correlates of sex-ratio variation in two chromosome races of Rumex hastatulus, an annual, wind-pollinated colonizer of open habitats from the southern USA. We examined sex ratios in 46 populations and evaluated the hypothesis that the proximity of males in the local mating environment, through its influence on gametophytic selection, is the primary cause of female-biased sex ratios. Female-biased sex ratios characterized most populations of R. hastatulus (mean sex ratio = 0.62), with significant female bias in 89% of populations. Large, high-density populations had the highest proportion of females, whereas smaller, low-density populations had sex ratios closer to equality. Progeny sex ratios were more female biased when males were in closer proximity to females, a result consistent with the gametophytic selection hypothesis. Our results suggest that interactions between demographic and genetic factors are probably the main cause of female-biased sex ratios in R. hastatulus. The annual life cycle of this species may limit the scope for selection against males and may account for the weaker degree of bias in comparison with perennial Rumex species. PMID:23532761

  8. Sex ratio and gamete size across eastern North America in Dictyostelium discoideum, a social amoeba with three sexes.

    PubMed

    Douglas, T E; Strassmann, J E; Queller, D C

    2016-07-01

    Theory indicates that numbers of mating types should tend towards infinity or remain at two. The social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, however, has three mating types. It is therefore a mystery how this species has broken the threshold of two mating types, but has not increased towards a much higher number. Frequency-dependent selection on rare types in combination with isogamy, a form of reproduction involving gametes similar in size, could explain the evolution of multiple mating types in this system. Other factors, such as drift, may be preventing the evolution of more than three. We first looked for evidence of isogamy by measuring gamete size associated with each type. We found no evidence of size dissimilarities between gametes. We then looked for evidence of balancing selection, by examining mating type distributions in natural populations and comparing genetic differentiation at the mating type locus to that at more neutral loci. We found that mating type frequency varied among the three populations we examined, with only one of the three showing an even sex ratio, which does not support balancing selection. However, we found more population structure at neutral loci than the mating type locus, suggesting that the three mating types are indeed maintained at intermediate frequencies by balancing selection. Overall, the data are consistent with balancing selection acting on D. discoideum mating types, but with a sufficiently weak rare sex advantage to allow for drift, a potential explanation for why these amoebae have only three mating types.

  9. Sex ratio and gamete size across eastern North America in Dictyostelium discoideum, a social amoeba with three sexes.

    PubMed

    Douglas, T E; Strassmann, J E; Queller, D C

    2016-07-01

    Theory indicates that numbers of mating types should tend towards infinity or remain at two. The social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, however, has three mating types. It is therefore a mystery how this species has broken the threshold of two mating types, but has not increased towards a much higher number. Frequency-dependent selection on rare types in combination with isogamy, a form of reproduction involving gametes similar in size, could explain the evolution of multiple mating types in this system. Other factors, such as drift, may be preventing the evolution of more than three. We first looked for evidence of isogamy by measuring gamete size associated with each type. We found no evidence of size dissimilarities between gametes. We then looked for evidence of balancing selection, by examining mating type distributions in natural populations and comparing genetic differentiation at the mating type locus to that at more neutral loci. We found that mating type frequency varied among the three populations we examined, with only one of the three showing an even sex ratio, which does not support balancing selection. However, we found more population structure at neutral loci than the mating type locus, suggesting that the three mating types are indeed maintained at intermediate frequencies by balancing selection. Overall, the data are consistent with balancing selection acting on D. discoideum mating types, but with a sufficiently weak rare sex advantage to allow for drift, a potential explanation for why these amoebae have only three mating types. PMID:27018644

  10. Arachidonic acid enhances reproduction in Daphnia magna and mitigates changes in sex ratios induced by pyriproxyfen.

    PubMed

    Ginjupalli, Gautam K; Gerard, Patrick D; Baldwin, William S

    2015-03-01

    Arachidonic acid is 1 of only 2 unsaturated fatty acids retained in the ovaries of crustaceans and an inhibitor of HR97g, a nuclear receptor expressed in adult ovaries. The authors hypothesized that, as a key fatty acid, arachidonic acid may be associated with reproduction and potentially environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Reproduction assays with arachidonic acid indicate that it alters female:male sex ratios by increasing female production. This reproductive effect only occurred during a restricted Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata diet. Next, the authors tested whether enriching a poorer algal diet (Chlorella vulgaris) with arachidonic acid enhances overall reproduction and sex ratios. Arachidonic acid enrichment of a C. vulgaris diet also enhances fecundity at 1.0 µM and 4.0 µM by 30% to 40% in the presence and absence of pyriproxyfen. This indicates that arachidonic acid is crucial in reproduction regardless of environmental sex determination. Furthermore, the data indicate that P. subcapitata may provide a threshold concentration of arachidonic acid needed for reproduction. Diet-switch experiments from P. subcapitata to C. vulgaris mitigate some, but not all, of arachidonic acid's effects when compared with a C. vulgaris-only diet, suggesting that some arachidonic acid provided by P. subcapitata is retained. In summary, arachidonic acid supplementation increases reproduction and represses pyriproxyfen-induced environmental sex determination in D. magna in restricted diets. A diet rich in arachidonic acid may provide protection from some reproductive toxicants such as the juvenile hormone agonist pyriproxyfen. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:527-535. © 2014 SETAC.

  11. Medieval trabecular bone architecture: the influence of age, sex, and lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, S C; Dumitriu, M; Tomlinson, G A; Grynpas, M D

    2004-05-01

    Osteoporosis has become a growing health concern in developed countries and an extensive area of research in skeletal biology. Despite numerous paleopathological studies of bone mass, few studies have measured bone quality in past populations. In order to examine age- and sex-related changes in one aspect of bone quality in the past, a study was made of trabecular bone architecture in a British medieval skeletal sample. X-ray images of 5-mm-thick coronal lumbar vertebral bone sections were taken from a total of 54 adult individuals divided into three age categories (18-29, 30-49, and 50+ years), and examined using image analysis to evaluate parameters related to trabecular bone structure and connectivity. Significant age-related changes in trabecular bone structure (trabecular bone volume (BV/TV), trabecular number (Tb.N), trabecular separation (Tb.Sp), and anisotropic ratio (Tb.An)) were observed to occur primarily by middle age with significant differences between the youngest and two older age groups. Neither sex showed continuing change in trabecular structure between the middle and old age groups. Age-related changes in bone connectivity (number of nodes (N.Nd) and node-to-node strut length (Nd.Nd)) similarly indicated a change in bone connectivity only between the youngest and two older age groups. However, females showed no statistical differences among the age groups in bone connectivity. These patterns of trabecular bone loss and fragility contrast with those generally found in modern populations that typically report continuing loss of bone structure and connectivity between middle and old age, and suggest greater loss in females. The patterns of bone loss in the archaeological samples must be interpreted cautiously. We speculate that while nutritional factors may have initiated some bone loss in both sexes, physical activity could have conserved bone architecture in old age in both sexes, and reproductive factors such as high parity and extended periods

  12. Sibling sex ratio and birth order in early-onset gender dysphoric adolescents.

    PubMed

    Schagen, Sebastian E E; Delemarre-van de Waal, Henriette A; Blanchard, Ray; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T

    2012-06-01

    Several sibship-related variables have been studied extensively in sexual orientation research, especially in men. Sibling sex ratio refers to the ratio of brothers to sisters in the aggregate sibships of a group of probands. Birth order refers to the probands' position (e.g., first-born, middle-born, last-born) within their sibships. Fraternal birth order refers to their position among male siblings only. Such research was extended in this study to a large group of early-onset gender dysphoric adolescents. The probands comprised 94 male-to-female and 95 female-to-male gender dysphoric adolescents. The overwhelming majority of these were homosexual or probably prehomosexual. The control group consisted of 875 boys and 914 girls from the TRAILS study. The sibling sex ratio of the gender dysphoric boys was very high (241 brothers per 100 sisters) compared with the expected ratio (106:100). The excess of brothers was more extreme among the probands' older siblings (300:100) than among their younger siblings (195:100). Between-groups comparisons showed that the gender dysphoric boys had significantly more older brothers, and significantly fewer older sisters and younger sisters, than did the control boys. In contrast, the only notable finding for the female groups was that the gender dysphoric girls had significantly fewer total siblings than did the control girls. The results for the male probands were consistent with prior speculations that a high fraternal birth order (i.e., an excess of older brothers) is found in all homosexual male groups, but an elevated sibling sex ratio (usually caused by an additional, smaller excess of younger brothers) is characteristic of gender dysphoric homosexual males. The mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain unknown.

  13. Where have all the females gone? Male biased sex-ratio in Arctodiaptomus alpinus (Imhof, 1885) in alpine lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žibrat, U.; Brancelj, A.

    2009-04-01

    In populations with both males and females sex-ratio is one of the driving forces of population dynamics. It influences fecundity, inbreeding and social interactions. Sex-ratio is affected by several biotic and abiotic factors, either by selective killing of one sex or by inducing migrations. In alpine lakes of Triglav National Park, Slovenia, an extremely male biased sex-ratio in Arctodiaptomus alpinus (Imhof, 1885) was regularly observed since 1992. We analysed population dynamics and sex-ratio of A. alpinus in three alpine lakes (Jezero v Ledvicah, Rjavo jezero and Zgornje Kriško jezero) from Triglav National Park in Slovenia. In addition to seasonal dynamics we also researched long-term changes in sex-ratio (in a period of 11 years from autumn samples) as a result of increased air-temperature, and zooplankton diurnal vertical migrations. Adults of both sexes were found to appear at the same time in the water collumn with males prevailing throughout the season. A similar trend was found in copepodites CV. The percent of adult females began increasing in late summer, when there were no more copepodites and recrutation from copepodites CV to adults stopped, while male mortality increased. All cohorts of A. alpinus were found to perform diurnal vertical migrations. Both adult and CV females remained close to the bottom during the day and migrated vertically during the night. Results of the long-term study show no changes in sex-ratio in autumn.

  14. Second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) and concentrations of circulating sex hormones in adulthood

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is used as a marker of prenatal sex hormone exposure. The objective of this study was to examine whether circulating concentrations of sex hormones and SHBG measured in adulthood was associated with 2D:4D. Methods This analysis was based on a random sample from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. The sample consisted of of 1036 men and 620 post-menopausal women aged between 39 and 70 at the time of blood draw. Concentrations of circulating sex hormones were measured from plasma collected at baseline (1990-1994), while digit length was measured from hand photocopies taken during a recent follow-up (2003-2009). The outcome measures were circulating concentrations of testosterone, oestradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, androstenedione, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, androstenediol glucoronide for men only and oestrone sulphate for women only. Free testosterone and oestradiol were estimated using standard formulae derived empirically. Predicted geometric mean hormone concentrations (for tertiles of 2D:4D) and conditional correlation coefficients (for continuous 2D:4D) were obtained using mixed effects linear regression models. Results No strong associations were observed between 2D:4D measures and circulating concentrations of hormones for men or women. For males, right 2D:4D was weakly inversely associated with circulating testosterone (predicted geometric mean testosterone was 15.9 and 15.0 nmol/L for the lowest and highest tertiles of male right 2D:4D respectively (P-trend = 0.04). There was a similar weak association between male right 2D:4D and the ratio of testosterone to oestradiol. These associations were not evident in analyses of continuous 2D:4D. Conclusions There were no strong associations between any adult circulating concentration of sex hormone or SHGB and 2D:4D. These results contribute to the growing body of evidence indicating that 2D:4D is unrelated to adult sex hormone concentrations

  15. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings by histological examination and nest temperatures at Fethiye beach, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Çetin; Özdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta) were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in 21 nests at Fethiye beach during 2000 2002. Over the seasons, the mean temperature in the middle third of the incubation period ranged from 26.7 to 32.1°C, and incubation periods ranged from 49 to 67 days. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on histologically sexed dead hatchlings, the sex ratios of hatchlings at Fethiye beach were roughly equal, i.e. 60 65% of the hatchlings were females. This contrasts with the highly female-skewed sex ratios in loggerhead turtles elsewhere; Fethiye has a relatively high proportion of male hatchlings. For endangered sea turtles, the knowledge of hatchling sex ratios at different beaches, coupled with appropriate conservation measures, can make an important contribution to their survival.

  16. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings by histological examination and nest temperatures at Fethiye beach, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Cetin; Ozdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in 21 nests at Fethiye beach during 2000-2002. Over the seasons, the mean temperature in the middle third of the incubation period ranged from 26.7 to 32.1 degrees C, and incubation periods ranged from 49 to 67 days. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on histologically sexed dead hatchlings, the sex ratios of hatchlings at Fethiye beach were roughly equal, i.e. 60-65% of the hatchlings were females. This contrasts with the highly female-skewed sex ratios in loggerhead turtles elsewhere; Fethiye has a relatively high proportion of male hatchlings. For endangered sea turtles, the knowledge of hatchling sex ratios at different beaches, coupled with appropriate conservation measures, can make an important contribution to their survival.

  17. Identifying sex and age of apapane and iiwi on Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fancy, S.G.; Pratt, T.K.; Lindsey, G.D.; Harada, C.K.; Parent, A.H.; Jacobi, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    Methods to determine the sex and age of Apapane (Himatione sanguinea) and Iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) were developed on the basis of 189 museum specimens and 91 live birds captured in mist nets on the Island of Hawaii (USA). Both species retain all juvenal primaries and some juvenal secondaries and body feathers after the first prebasic molt and attain full adult plumage after the second prebasic molt. Apapane in their first basic plumage retain some buff-edged juvenal secondaries (particularly secondaries five and six) and sometimes retain a few gray-brown feathers on the head. The first basic plumage of Iiwi is characterized by secondaries 6-9 being longer and darker than secondaries 1-4 and the presence of a few yellowish juvenal body feathers with black spots at the tips. Adult male Apapane and Iiwi have longer wing, tail, exposed culmen, culmen and tarso-metatarsus lengths than females. Linear discriminant functions are presented to sex adult Apapane and Iiwi from lengths of their wing chord and exposed culmen.

  18. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation.

  19. The impact of the stopping rule on sex ratio of last births in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Bang Nguyen; Adair, Timothy; Hill, Peter S; Rao, Chalapati

    2012-03-01

    This study examines the hypothesis that the stopping rule - a traditional postnatal sex selection method where couples decide to cease childbearing once they bear a son - plays a role in high sex ratio of last births (SRLB). The study develops a theoretical framework to demonstrate the operation of the stopping rule in a context of son preference. This framework was used to demonstrate the impact of the stopping rule on the SRLB in Vietnam, using data from the Population Change Survey 2006. The SRLB of Vietnam was high at the level of 130 in the period 1970-2006, and particularly in the period 1986-1995, when sex-selective abortion was not available. Women were 21% more likely to stop childbearing after a male birth compared with a female birth. The SRLB was highest at parity 2 (138.7), particularly in rural areas (153.5), and extremely high (181.9) when the previous birth was female. Given the declining fertility, the stopping rule has a potential synergistic effect with sex-selective abortion to accentuate a trend of one-son families in the population.

  20. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index −0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  1. Emergence success and sex ratio of commercial alfalfa leafcutting bees from the United States and Canada.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; James, Rosalind R

    2005-12-01

    Samples of overwintering alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), cells were sent to the laboratory as loose cells or in nesting boards from bee managers in the United States and in Canada. X-radiographs of cells were used for determining cell contents. Cells containing live prepupae were incubated, and the sex of emerging adults was recorded daily. Cells from which no adult emerged were dissected to determine the developmental stage of dead bees and sex of dead pupae or adults. Bee cells incubated in commercial settings and placed in alfalfa fields by the same bee managers described above also were evaluated to determine adult emergence success. The proportion of live bees in wood nesting boards from the United States was much lower than the live proportion in polystyrene nesting boards from Canada and loose cells overwintered in the United States. For laboratory-incubated loose cells, survival and sex ratios of bees from Canadian sources were statistically higher than those of U.S. bees, but the onset and duration of emergence times were similar. Fewer bees survived in the commercial setting than in the laboratory. Prepupal mortality was significantly higher than pupal or adult mortality, but there was no significant difference between the sexes in the likelihood of survival during incubation. This study supports the commonly held belief that alfalfa leafcutting bees raised in Canada and then sold to the United States represent a more viable source of bees than most bees produced in the United States. PMID:16539094

  2. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  3. Effects of bisphenol A on the development, growth, and sex ratio of the housefly Musca domestica.

    PubMed

    Izumi, Nanae; Yanagibori, Ryoko; Shigeno, Seiichi; Sajiki, Junko

    2008-06-01

    The effects of bisphenol A (BPA) on the life cycle of the housefly Musca domestica were examined. The sex ratio of the imago shifted in favor of males when eggs and larvae were exposed to BPA in culture media at concentrations of 1,000 microg kg(-1) for five generations and 100 microg kg(-1) for seven generations. Notably, at an initial concentration of 100 microg kg(-1), BPA levels in the growth medium decreased 61% at 4 h after egg inoculation, and no BPA was detected after 24 h. Pupal weight increased upon exposure to 100 microg kg(-1) BPA but decreased after exposure to 1,000 microg kg(-1), suggesting highly variable concentration-dependent toxicity. Both the survival ratio of eggs to the third instar larval stage and the ratio of pupae to larvae decreased, indicating that BPA affected both eggs and larvae. A delay in the timing of emergence typically was observed in insects exposed to >100 microg kg(-1) BPA. Compared to the control group, juvenile hormones II and III levels were elevated significantly in larvae between days 4 and 7 in medium spiked with 100 microg kg(-1) BPA. These results suggest that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of BPA during the early stages of the housefly life cycle can result in various disorders (pupal weight and sex ratio) that may be a consequence of endocrine disruption.

  4. Sex pheromone component ratios and mating isolation among three Lygus plant bug species of North America.

    PubMed

    Byers, John A; Fefer, Daniela; Levi-Zada, Anat

    2013-12-01

    The plant bugs Lygus hesperus, Lygus lineolaris, and Lygus elisus (Hemiptera: Miridae) are major pests of many agricultural crops in North America. Previous studies suggested that females release a sex pheromone attractive to males. Other studies showed that males and females contain microgram amounts of (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal, hexyl butyrate, and (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that are emitted as a defense against predators. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found that female L. lineolaris and L. elisus have a 4:10 ratio of hexyl butyrate to (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that is reversed from the 10:1 ratio in female L. hesperus (males of the three species have ~10:1 ratio). These reversed ratios among females of the species suggest a behavioral role. Because both sexes have nearly equal amounts of the major volatiles, females should release more to attract males. This expectation was supported because L. hesperus females released more hexyl butyrate (mean of 86 ng/h) during the night (1800-0700 hours) than did males (<1 ng/h). We used slow-rotating pairs of traps to test the attraction of species to blends of the volatiles with a subtractive method to detect synergism. Each species' major butyrate ester was released at 3 μg/h, the minor butyrate according to its ratio, and (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal at 2 μg/h. The resulting catches of only Lygus males suggest that (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal is an essential sex pheromone component for all three species, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate is essential for L. elisus and L. lineolaris, and hexyl butyrate is essential for L. hesperus. However, all three components are recognized by each species since ratios of the butyrate esters are critical for conspecific attraction and heterospecific avoidance by males and thus play a role in reproductive isolation among the three species. Because L. hesperus males and females are known to emit these major volatiles for repelling ant predators, our study links defensive allomones in Lygus bugs with an

  5. Sex pheromone component ratios and mating isolation among three Lygus plant bug species of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, John A.; Fefer, Daniela; Levi-Zada, Anat

    2013-12-01

    The plant bugs Lygus hesperus, Lygus lineolaris, and Lygus elisus (Hemiptera: Miridae) are major pests of many agricultural crops in North America. Previous studies suggested that females release a sex pheromone attractive to males. Other studies showed that males and females contain microgram amounts of ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal, hexyl butyrate, and ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that are emitted as a defense against predators. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found that female L. lineolaris and L. elisus have a 4:10 ratio of hexyl butyrate to ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that is reversed from the 10:1 ratio in female L. hesperus (males of the three species have ~10:1 ratio). These reversed ratios among females of the species suggest a behavioral role. Because both sexes have nearly equal amounts of the major volatiles, females should release more to attract males. This expectation was supported because L. hesperus females released more hexyl butyrate (mean of 86 ng/h) during the night (1800-0700 hours) than did males (<1 ng/h). We used slow-rotating pairs of traps to test the attraction of species to blends of the volatiles with a subtractive method to detect synergism. Each species' major butyrate ester was released at 3 μg/h, the minor butyrate according to its ratio, and ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal at 2 μg/h. The resulting catches of only Lygus males suggest that ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal is an essential sex pheromone component for all three species, ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate is essential for L. elisus and L. lineolaris, and hexyl butyrate is essential for L. hesperus. However, all three components are recognized by each species since ratios of the butyrate esters are critical for conspecific attraction and heterospecific avoidance by males and thus play a role in reproductive isolation among the three species. Because L. hesperus males and females are known to emit these major volatiles for repelling ant predators, our study links defensive allomones in Lygus bugs with an

  6. Normal Thymus in Adults: Appearance on CT and Associations with Age, Sex, BMI and Smoking

    PubMed Central

    Araki, Tetsuro; Nishino, Mizuki; Gao, Wei; Dupuis, Josée; Hunninghake, Gary M.; Murakami, Takamichi; Washko, George R.; O'Connor, George T.; Hatabu, Hiroto

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the CT appearance and size of the thymus in associations with characteristics of participants. Materials and Methods 2540 supposedly healthy participants (mean age 58.9 years, 51% female) were evaluated for the CT appearance of thymic glands with four-point scores (according to the ratio of fat and soft tissue), size, and morphology. These were correlated with participants’ age, sex, BMI, and smoking history. Results Of 2540 participants, 1869 (74%) showed complete fatty replacement of the thymus (Score 0), 463 (18%) predominantly fatty attenuation (Score 1), 172 (7%) half fatty and half soft-tissue attenuation (Score 2), and 36 (1%) solid thymic gland with predominantly soft-tissue attenuation (Score 3). Female participants showed less fatty degeneration of the thymus with higher thymic scores within age 40-69 (P<0.001). Participants with lower thymic scores showed higher BMI (P<0.001) and were more likely to be former smokers (P<0.001) with higher pack-years (P=0.04). Conclusions Visual assessment with four-point thymic scores revealed a sex difference in the fatty degeneration of the thymus with age. Women show significantly higher thymic scores than men, suggesting less fat content of the thymus, during age 40-69. Cigarette smoking and high BMI are associated with advanced fatty replacement of the thymus. PMID:25925358

  7. Maternal socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with the sex ratio at birth in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Bang Nguyen; Adair, Timothy; Hill, Peter S

    2010-11-01

    In recent years Vietnam has experienced a high sex ratio at birth (SRB) amidst rapid socioeconomic and demographic changes. However, little is known about the differentials in SRB between maternal socioeconomic and demographic groups. The paper uses data from the annual Population Change Survey (PCS) in 2006 to examine the relationship of the sex ratio of the most recent birth with maternal socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and the number of previous female births. The SRB of Vietnam was significantly high at 111.4 (95% CI 109.7-113.1) for the period 1st April 2000 to 31st March 2006. Multivariate analysis reveals that sex of the most recent birth is strongly related with the number of previous female births. This association is consistent across different socioeconomic and demographic groups of women. Given the high SRB in Vietnam, further research into the reasons for high SRB in these groups is required, as are intervention programmes such as those raising the public awareness of its negative consequences.

  8. Calcium availability influences litter size and sex ratio in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christina M; Hood, Wendy R

    2012-01-01

    The production of offspring typically requires investment of resources derived from both the environment and maternal somatic reserves. As such, the availability of either of these types of resources has the potential to limit the degree to which resources are allocated to reproduction. Theory and empirical studies have argued that mothers modify reproductive performance relative to exogenous resource availability and maternal condition by adjusting size, number or sex of offspring produced. These relationships have classically been defined relative to availability of energy sources; however, in vertebrates, calcium also plays a critical role in offspring production, as a considerable amount of calcium is required to support the development of offspring skeleton(s). We tested whether the availability of calcium influences reproductive output by providing female white-footed mice with a low-calcium or standard diet from reproductive maturity to senescence. We then compared maternal skeletal condition and reproductive output, based on offspring mass, offspring number and litter sex ratio, between dietary treatments. Mothers on the low-calcium diet exhibited diminished skeletal condition at senescence and produced smaller and strongly female-biased litters. We show that skeletal condition and calcium intake can influence sex ratio and reproductive output following general theoretical models of resource partitioning during reproduction. PMID:22870218

  9. Mixture Analysis and Mammalian Sex Ratio Among Middle Pleistocene Mouflon of Arago Cave, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monchot, Hervé

    1999-09-01

    In archaeological studies, it is often important to be able assess sexual dimorphism and sex ratios in populations. Obtaining sex ratio is easy if each individual in the population can be accurately sexed through the use of one more objective variables. But this is often impossible, due to incompleteness of the osteological record. A modern statistical approach to handle this problem is Mixture Analysis using the method of maximum likelihood. It consists of determining how many groups are present in the sample, two in this case, in which proportions they occur, and to estimate the parameters accordingly. This paper shows the use of this method on vertebrate fossil populations in a prehistoric context with implications on prey acquisition by early humans. For instance, the analysis of mouflon bones from Arago cave (Tautavel, France) indicates that there are more females than males in the F layer. According to the ethology of the animal, this indicates that the hunting strategy could be the result of selective choice of the prey. Moreover, we may deduce the presence of Anteneandertalians on the site during spring and summer periods.

  10. Calcium availability influences litter size and sex ratio in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christina M; Hood, Wendy R

    2012-01-01

    The production of offspring typically requires investment of resources derived from both the environment and maternal somatic reserves. As such, the availability of either of these types of resources has the potential to limit the degree to which resources are allocated to reproduction. Theory and empirical studies have argued that mothers modify reproductive performance relative to exogenous resource availability and maternal condition by adjusting size, number or sex of offspring produced. These relationships have classically been defined relative to availability of energy sources; however, in vertebrates, calcium also plays a critical role in offspring production, as a considerable amount of calcium is required to support the development of offspring skeleton(s). We tested whether the availability of calcium influences reproductive output by providing female white-footed mice with a low-calcium or standard diet from reproductive maturity to senescence. We then compared maternal skeletal condition and reproductive output, based on offspring mass, offspring number and litter sex ratio, between dietary treatments. Mothers on the low-calcium diet exhibited diminished skeletal condition at senescence and produced smaller and strongly female-biased litters. We show that skeletal condition and calcium intake can influence sex ratio and reproductive output following general theoretical models of resource partitioning during reproduction.

  11. Study on mating ecology and sex ratio of three internally ovipositing fig wasps of Ficus curtipes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, F P; Yang, D R

    2010-04-01

    Studies on mating ecology and sex allocation in fig-parasitizing wasps ovipositing from outside the fig have given valuable insights into known factors that are responsible for the theory of sex ratio. Similarly, internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps and fig-pollinating wasps provide interesting models for comparative analysis. In addition to the fig-pollinating wasp Eupristina sp., we found that Ficus curtipes hosts two species of internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps: D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. Eupristina sp. males showed less aggression. Eupristina sp. has wingless males that mate only within the natal patch, providing excellent examples of full local-mate competition. D. yangi males showed high levels of aggression and lethal combat. D. yangi has winged males but mate mostly within the natal patch. Only a few matings occur after male dispersal. Its sex ratio was lower than the prediction of partial local mate competition theory. Wingless male Lipothymus sp., which mate partly after dispersal, did not present fatal fight. Therefore, the mating behaviour of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. did not follow predicted patterns, based on wing morph. The mating pattern of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. should follow the partial local mate competition theory. Furthermore, there was not a significant correlation between the proportion of males and the proportion of fruit parasitized in both winged D. yangi males and wingless Lipothymus sp. males.

  12. Nutrition, sex, gestational age, and hair growth in babies.

    PubMed

    Berger, H M; King, J; Doughty, S; Wharton, B A

    1978-04-01

    Hair growth measurements are a sensitive indicator of nutrition and we have assessed their value in the perinatal period. The proportion of growing roots and their diameter were studied at birth in 114 babies and repeated 3 weeks later in 29 low birthweight babies. Intrauterine malnutrition resulted in thinner roots but the changes after birth were not related to nutrition and these measurements will not be useful in feeding studies in this period. At birth, gestational age and sex affected the hair root, and it may be important to recognise these differences if the hair root is used in biochemical screening tests. We have used a new simple technique for measuring the root diameter using an image-splitting eye-piece.

  13. Age, sex and personality in early cannabis use.

    PubMed

    Muro I Rodríguez, A

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies analysing personality and cannabis use in adult samples suggest that cannabis users show significant higher levels of impulsivity, sensation seeking and schizotypy. However, there are few studies exploring this relationship in adolescence using psychobiological models of personality. Given the relevance of identifying individual differences that lead adolescents to early cannabis use to prevent future health problems, the present study aimed to explore the relationship between age, sex, personality and early cannabis use using a psychobiological model of personality in a sample of 415 students (51.8% boys) from 12 to 18 years. Chi(2) tests showed significant higher prevalence of cannabis use in boys and in the group aged 15-18 years. Multiple analysis of variance showed significant higher scores in psychoticism, sensation seeking and in all its subscales in cannabis users group, while an interaction with age was found for extraversion and neuroticism: cannabis users scored higher than non-users in the youngest group (12-14 years) but lower in the oldest group in both dimensions. Finally, regression analysis showed that narrower traits of sensation seeking (experience seeking and disinhibition) were the most associated to early cannabis use. Results are discussed in terms of early cannabis users' personality profiles and in terms of the self-medication theory.

  14. Sex-Related and Age-Related Differences in Knee Strength of Basketball Players Ages 11-17 Years.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Patricia A.; Vardaxis, Vassilios G.

    2003-09-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess hamstrings and quadriceps strength of basketball players ages 11-13 and 15-17 years. DESIGN AND SETTING: This cross-sectional study occurred during the 2000 American Youth Basketball Tour National Tournament. We investigated whether sex- or age-related strength differences existed among study participants. SUBJECTS: Forty-one tournament participants (22 girls, 19 boys; 11-13 or 15-17 years old) who reported no history of knee sprain or surgery were recruited. MEASUREMENTS: We used a Cybex II dynamometer to obtain isokinetic concentric peak torques relative to body mass (Nm/kg) at 60 degrees /s for hamstrings and quadriceps bilaterally. From average peak torques, we determined ipsilateral hamstrings:quadriceps and homologous muscle-group ratios. RESULTS: Correlations between hamstrings and quadriceps strength measures ranged from 0.78 to 0.97. Players 15-17 years old had greater relative hamstrings and quadriceps strength than 11- to 13-year-old athletes. Age and sex interacted significantly for quadriceps strength. The quadriceps strength of 15- to 17-year-old girls did not differ from that of 11- to 13-year-old girls, whereas 15- to 17-year-old boys had stronger quadriceps than 11- to 13-year-old boys. Boys 15-17 years old had greater quadriceps strength than girls 15-17 years old. CONCLUSIONS: This study is unique in providing normative data for the hamstrings and quadriceps strength of basketball players 11-13 and 15-17 years old. Age-related strength differences did not occur consistently between the sexes, as girls 11-13 and 15-17 years old had similar relative quadriceps strength.

  15. Stone Composition as a Function of Age and Sex

    PubMed Central

    Rule, Andrew D.; Krambeck, Amy E.; Williams, James C.; Bergstralh, Eric J.; Mehta, Ramila A.; Moyer, Thomas P.

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives Kidney stones are heterogeneous but often grouped together. The potential effects of patient demographics and calendar month (season) on stone composition are not widely appreciated. Design, setting, participants, & measurements The first stone submitted by patients for analysis to the Mayo Clinic Metals Laboratory during 2010 was studied (n=43,545). Stones were classified in the following order: any struvite, any cystine, any uric acid, any brushite, majority (≥50%) calcium oxalate, or majority (≥50%) hydroxyapatite. Results Calcium oxalate (67%) was the most common followed by hydroxyapatite (16%), uric acid (8%), struvite (3%), brushite (0.9%), and cystine (0.35%). Men accounted for more stone submissions (58%) than women. However, women submitted more stones than men between the ages of 10–19 (63%) and 20–29 (62%) years. Women submitted the majority of hydroxyapatite (65%) and struvite (65%) stones, whereas men submitted the majority of calcium oxalate (64%) and uric acid (72%) stones (P<0.001). Although calcium oxalate stones were the most common type of stone overall, hydroxyapatite stones were the second most common before age 55 years, whereas uric acid stones were the second most common after age 55 years. More calcium oxalate and uric acid stones were submitted in the summer months (July and August; P<0.001), whereas the season did not influence other stone types. Conclusions It is well known that calcium oxalate stones are the most common stone type. However, age and sex have a marked influence on the type of stone formed. The higher number of stones submitted by women compared with men between the ages of 10 and 29 years old and the change in composition among the elderly favoring uric acid have not been widely appreciated. These data also suggest increases in stone risk during the summer, although this is restricted to calcium oxalate and uric acid stones. PMID:25278549

  16. Differences in Movement Pattern and Detectability between Males and Females Influence How Common Sampling Methods Estimate Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Coelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco

    2016-01-01

    Sampling the biodiversity is an essential step for conservation, and understanding the efficiency of sampling methods allows us to estimate the quality of our biodiversity data. Sex ratio is an important population characteristic, but until now, no study has evaluated how efficient are the sampling methods commonly used in biodiversity surveys in estimating the sex ratio of populations. We used a virtual ecologist approach to investigate whether active and passive capture methods are able to accurately sample a population’s sex ratio and whether differences in movement pattern and detectability between males and females produce biased estimates of sex-ratios when using these methods. Our simulation allowed the recognition of individuals, similar to mark-recapture studies. We found that differences in both movement patterns and detectability between males and females produce biased estimates of sex ratios. However, increasing the sampling effort or the number of sampling days improves the ability of passive or active capture methods to properly sample sex ratio. Thus, prior knowledge regarding movement patterns and detectability for species is important information to guide field studies aiming to understand sex ratio related patterns. PMID:27441554

  17. Digit ratio varies with sex, egg order and strength of mate preference in zebra finches.

    PubMed Central

    Burley, Nancy Tyler; Foster, Valerie Suzanne

    2004-01-01

    The steroid environment encountered by developing vertebrates has important organizational effects on physiology and behaviour that persist throughout an organism's lifetime. Optimal allocation of maternal steroids to zygotes may be difficult to achieve because of the sexually antagonistic effects of steroids; thus, for example, a hormone environment beneficial to a developing male may be much less beneficial to a developing female. Research into the important topic of how mothers might adaptively adjust steroid titres experienced by particular young has been constrained by the difficulty of measuring the steroid environment experienced by the embryo at critical times in development. A potential approach to this problem has been suggested by research on variation in digit ratios in humans, where the ratio of the length of the second and fourth digits reflects the steroid environment experienced by the foetus; notably, digit 4 lengthens in response to androgens. In light of the conservative nature of homeobox genes regulating early development in tetrapods, we questioned whether a sex difference in digit ratio exists in a passerine bird, the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis, and whether observed variation in the ratio is consistent with the previously reported pattern that androgen allocation to zebra finch egg yolk declines across laying order. We established an aviary population of outbred, wild-type zebra finches, and allowed them to breed freely. Hatchlings were marked to correspond to their egg order, and their digit ratios were measured after birds reached adulthood. We found that digit ratio increased across egg order, which is consistent with a pattern of decreasing androgen allocation. Moreover, digit ratios differed between the sexes. We also investigated whether variation in digit ratio among adult females predicted variation in their performance in mate-choice tests. Digit ratio accounted for almost 50% of the variance in strength of female

  18. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

  19. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool. PMID:24384029

  20. Juvenile exposure to vinclozolin shifts sex ratios and impairs reproductive capacity of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lor, Yer; Revak, Andrew; Weigand, Jenna; Hicks, Elisabeth; Howard, David R; King-Heiden, Tisha C

    2015-12-01

    Exposure to endocrine disruptors during critical periods of development can impact the sustainability of wild fish populations. Anti-androgenic compounds have received less attention, but are capable of modulating gonad differentiation and maturation, and impairing reproduction in fish. The fungicide vinclozolin (VZ) has been shown to impair reproduction in adult fish, but less is known about its effects following exposure earlier in development. Here we show that waterborne exposure to 400μg VZ/L during critical periods of sex differentiation (21-35 days post fertilization) permanently shifts sex ratios towards females, and alters the maturation of the gonad. Both fecundity and fertility were reduced, even when oogenesis and spermatogenesis recover and sperm motility is not altered. These results demonstrate the need to better understand the impacts of early exposure to anti-androgenic compounds on fish. PMID:26423773

  1. Does the timing of attainment of maturity influence sexual size dimorphism and adult sex ratio in turtles?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Agha, Mickey

    2014-01-01

    The attainment of sexual maturity has been shown to affect measures of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and adult sex ratios in several groups of vertebrates. Using data for turtles, we tested the model that sex ratios are expected to be male-biased when females are larger than males and female-biased when males are larger than females because of the relationship of each with the attainment of maturity. Our model is based on the premise that the earlier-maturing sex remains smaller, on average throughout life, and predominates numerically unless the sexes are strongly affected by differential mortality, differential emigration, and immigration, or biased primary sex ratios. Based on data for 24 species in seven families, SSD and sex ratios were significantly negatively correlated for most analyses, even after the effect of phylogenetic bias was removed. The analyses provide support for the model that SSD and adult sex ratios are correlated in turtles as a result of simultaneous correlation of each with sexual differences in attainment of maturity (bimaturism). Environmental sex determination provides a possible mechanism for the phenomenon in turtles and some other organisms.

  2. Winning the genetic lottery: biasing birth sex ratio results in more grandchildren.

    PubMed

    Thogerson, Collette M; Brady, Colleen M; Howard, Richard D; Mason, Georgia J; Pajor, Edmond A; Vicino, Greg A; Garner, Joseph P

    2013-01-01

    Population dynamics predicts that on average parents should invest equally in male and female offspring; similarly, the physiology of mammalian sex determination is supposedly stochastic, producing equal numbers of sons and daughters. However, a high quality parent can maximize fitness by biasing their birth sex ratio (SR) to the sex with the greatest potential to disproportionately outperform peers. All SR manipulation theories share a fundamental prediction: grandparents who bias birth SR should produce more grandoffspring via the favored sex. The celebrated examples of biased birth SRs in nature consistent with SR manipulation theories provide compelling circumstantial evidence. However, this prediction has never been directly tested in mammals, primarily because the complete three-generation pedigrees needed to test whether individual favored offspring produce more grandoffspring for the biasing grandparent are essentially impossible to obtain in nature. Three-generation pedigrees were constructed using 90 years of captive breeding records from 198 mammalian species. Male and female grandparents consistently biased their birth SR toward the sex that maximized second-generation success. The most strongly male-biased granddams and grandsires produced respectively 29% and 25% more grandoffspring than non-skewing conspecifics. The sons of the most male-biasing granddams were 2.7 times as fecund as those of granddams with a 50∶50 bias (similar results are seen in grandsires). Daughters of the strongest female-biasing granddams were 1.2 times as fecund as those of non-biasing females (this effect is not seen in grandsires). To our knowledge, these results are the first formal test of the hypothesis that birth SR manipulation is adaptive in mammals in terms of grandchildren produced, showing that SR manipulation can explain biased birth SR in general across mammalian species. These findings also have practical implications: parental control of birth SR has the

  3. Winning the Genetic Lottery: Biasing Birth Sex Ratio Results in More Grandchildren

    PubMed Central

    Thogerson, Collette M.; Brady, Colleen M.; Howard, Richard D.; Mason, Georgia J.; Pajor, Edmond A.; Vicino, Greg A.; Garner, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Population dynamics predicts that on average parents should invest equally in male and female offspring; similarly, the physiology of mammalian sex determination is supposedly stochastic, producing equal numbers of sons and daughters. However, a high quality parent can maximize fitness by biasing their birth sex ratio (SR) to the sex with the greatest potential to disproportionately outperform peers. All SR manipulation theories share a fundamental prediction: grandparents who bias birth SR should produce more grandoffspring via the favored sex. The celebrated examples of biased birth SRs in nature consistent with SR manipulation theories provide compelling circumstantial evidence. However, this prediction has never been directly tested in mammals, primarily because the complete three-generation pedigrees needed to test whether individual favored offspring produce more grandoffspring for the biasing grandparent are essentially impossible to obtain in nature. Three-generation pedigrees were constructed using 90 years of captive breeding records from 198 mammalian species. Male and female grandparents consistently biased their birth SR toward the sex that maximized second-generation success. The most strongly male-biased granddams and grandsires produced respectively 29% and 25% more grandoffspring than non-skewing conspecifics. The sons of the most male-biasing granddams were 2.7 times as fecund as those of granddams with a 50∶50 bias (similar results are seen in grandsires). Daughters of the strongest female-biasing granddams were 1.2 times as fecund as those of non-biasing females (this effect is not seen in grandsires). To our knowledge, these results are the first formal test of the hypothesis that birth SR manipulation is adaptive in mammals in terms of grandchildren produced, showing that SR manipulation can explain biased birth SR in general across mammalian species. These findings also have practical implications: parental control of birth SR has the

  4. Winning the genetic lottery: biasing birth sex ratio results in more grandchildren.

    PubMed

    Thogerson, Collette M; Brady, Colleen M; Howard, Richard D; Mason, Georgia J; Pajor, Edmond A; Vicino, Greg A; Garner, Joseph P

    2013-01-01

    Population dynamics predicts that on average parents should invest equally in male and female offspring; similarly, the physiology of mammalian sex determination is supposedly stochastic, producing equal numbers of sons and daughters. However, a high quality parent can maximize fitness by biasing their birth sex ratio (SR) to the sex with the greatest potential to disproportionately outperform peers. All SR manipulation theories share a fundamental prediction: grandparents who bias birth SR should produce more grandoffspring via the favored sex. The celebrated examples of biased birth SRs in nature consistent with SR manipulation theories provide compelling circumstantial evidence. However, this prediction has never been directly tested in mammals, primarily because the complete three-generation pedigrees needed to test whether individual favored offspring produce more grandoffspring for the biasing grandparent are essentially impossible to obtain in nature. Three-generation pedigrees were constructed using 90 years of captive breeding records from 198 mammalian species. Male and female grandparents consistently biased their birth SR toward the sex that maximized second-generation success. The most strongly male-biased granddams and grandsires produced respectively 29% and 25% more grandoffspring than non-skewing conspecifics. The sons of the most male-biasing granddams were 2.7 times as fecund as those of granddams with a 50∶50 bias (similar results are seen in grandsires). Daughters of the strongest female-biasing granddams were 1.2 times as fecund as those of non-biasing females (this effect is not seen in grandsires). To our knowledge, these results are the first formal test of the hypothesis that birth SR manipulation is adaptive in mammals in terms of grandchildren produced, showing that SR manipulation can explain biased birth SR in general across mammalian species. These findings also have practical implications: parental control of birth SR has the

  5. Longitudinal decline of leukocyte telomere length in old age and the association with sex and genetic risk

    PubMed Central

    Berglund, Kari; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Ploner, Alexander; Gerritsen, Lotte; Hovatta, Iiris; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Hägg, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are DNA-protein structures at the ends of chromosomes. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening has been associated with advanced age. However, most studies use cross-sectional data, hence, the aim of our study was to model longitudinal trajectories of LTL attrition across 20 years at old age. Assessments of LTL were done by qPCR in SATSA (Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging; N=636 individuals). Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with age were estimated, the latter using latent growth curve analysis. A genetic risk score (GRS) for LTL was further assessed and included in the models. We confirmed an inverse cross-sectional association of LTL with age (B=−0.0022 T/S-ratio; 95% CI: −0.0035, −0.0009, p-value=0.0008). Longitudinal LTL analyses adjusted for sex (1598 samples; ≤5 measurements) suggested modest average decline until 69 years of age but accelerating decline after 69 years, with significant inter-individual variation. Women had on average ∼6% T/S-ratio units longer LTL at baseline, and inclusion of the GRS improved the model where four risk alleles was equivalent to the effect size difference between the sexes. In this cohort of old individuals, baseline LTL varied with age, sex and genetic background. The rate of change of LTL accelerated with age and varied considerably between individuals. PMID:27391763

  6. Longitudinal decline of leukocyte telomere length in old age and the association with sex and genetic risk.

    PubMed

    Berglund, Kari; Reynolds, Chandra A; Ploner, Alexander; Gerritsen, Lotte; Hovatta, Iiris; Pedersen, Nancy L; Hägg, Sara

    2016-07-01

    Telomeres are DNA-protein structures at the ends of chromosomes. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening has been associated with advanced age. However, most studies use cross-sectional data, hence, the aim of our study was to model longitudinal trajectories of LTL attrition across 20 years at old age. Assessments of LTL were done by qPCR in SATSA (Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging; N=636 individuals). Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with age were estimated, the latter using latent growth curve analysis. A genetic risk score (GRS) for LTL was further assessed and included in the models. We confirmed an inverse cross-sectional association of LTL with age (B=-0.0022 T/S-ratio; 95% CI: -0.0035, -0.0009, p-value=0.0008). Longitudinal LTL analyses adjusted for sex (1598 samples; ≤5 measurements) suggested modest average decline until 69 years of age but accelerating decline after 69 years, with significant inter-individual variation. Women had on average ~6% T/S-ratio units longer LTL at baseline, and inclusion of the GRS improved the model where four risk alleles was equivalent to the effect size difference between the sexes. In this cohort of old individuals, baseline LTL varied with age, sex and genetic background. The rate of change of LTL accelerated with age and varied considerably between individuals. PMID:27391763

  7. Longitudinal decline of leukocyte telomere length in old age and the association with sex and genetic risk.

    PubMed

    Berglund, Kari; Reynolds, Chandra A; Ploner, Alexander; Gerritsen, Lotte; Hovatta, Iiris; Pedersen, Nancy L; Hägg, Sara

    2016-07-01

    Telomeres are DNA-protein structures at the ends of chromosomes. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening has been associated with advanced age. However, most studies use cross-sectional data, hence, the aim of our study was to model longitudinal trajectories of LTL attrition across 20 years at old age. Assessments of LTL were done by qPCR in SATSA (Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging; N=636 individuals). Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with age were estimated, the latter using latent growth curve analysis. A genetic risk score (GRS) for LTL was further assessed and included in the models. We confirmed an inverse cross-sectional association of LTL with age (B=-0.0022 T/S-ratio; 95% CI: -0.0035, -0.0009, p-value=0.0008). Longitudinal LTL analyses adjusted for sex (1598 samples; ≤5 measurements) suggested modest average decline until 69 years of age but accelerating decline after 69 years, with significant inter-individual variation. Women had on average ~6% T/S-ratio units longer LTL at baseline, and inclusion of the GRS improved the model where four risk alleles was equivalent to the effect size difference between the sexes. In this cohort of old individuals, baseline LTL varied with age, sex and genetic background. The rate of change of LTL accelerated with age and varied considerably between individuals.

  8. Oviposition and Sex Ratio of the Redbanded Stink Bug, Piezodorous guildinii, in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Temple, Joshua H.; Davis, Jeffrey A.; Hardke, Jarrod T.; Price, Paul P.; Leonard, B. Rogers

    2016-01-01

    Redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), is a significant soybean pest across the mid-south region of the United States. The objectives of these studies were to characterize: (1) redbanded stink bug oviposition in relationship to soybean maturity group (MG), plant structure, crop phenology, and vertical distribution within the plant canopy; and (2) redbanded stink bug adult sex ratios in relationship to soybean phenology. A total of 5645 redbanded stink bug eggs in 421 egg masses (clusters) were field collected from naturally-occurring populations in MG IV and V soybean over a three year period (2009 to 2011). The mean number of eggs within a cluster was 16.6 ± 0.3. Plant structures by MG interactions were highly significant with more egg masses oviposited on leaves in MG IV (79.4%) and more on pods in MG V (72.7%). The ratio of females to males was similar in all soybean growth stages except R5, where the sex ratio increased to 1.4:1, coinciding with peak oviposition. Only 29.9% of egg clusters in MG IV and 18.3% of egg clusters in MG V were oviposited in the upper 35 cm of the soybean canopy. Based on these results, sampling strategies and insecticide application placement for stink bugs may require modification. PMID:27322333

  9. Oviposition and Sex Ratio of the Redbanded Stink Bug, Piezodorous guildinii, in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Temple, Joshua H; Davis, Jeffrey A; Hardke, Jarrod T; Price, Paul P; Leonard, B Rogers

    2016-01-01

    Redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), is a significant soybean pest across the mid-south region of the United States. The objectives of these studies were to characterize: (1) redbanded stink bug oviposition in relationship to soybean maturity group (MG), plant structure, crop phenology, and vertical distribution within the plant canopy; and (2) redbanded stink bug adult sex ratios in relationship to soybean phenology. A total of 5645 redbanded stink bug eggs in 421 egg masses (clusters) were field collected from naturally-occurring populations in MG IV and V soybean over a three year period (2009 to 2011). The mean number of eggs within a cluster was 16.6 ± 0.3. Plant structures by MG interactions were highly significant with more egg masses oviposited on leaves in MG IV (79.4%) and more on pods in MG V (72.7%). The ratio of females to males was similar in all soybean growth stages except R5, where the sex ratio increased to 1.4:1, coinciding with peak oviposition. Only 29.9% of egg clusters in MG IV and 18.3% of egg clusters in MG V were oviposited in the upper 35 cm of the soybean canopy. Based on these results, sampling strategies and insecticide application placement for stink bugs may require modification. PMID:27322333

  10. Oviposition and Sex Ratio of the Redbanded Stink Bug, Piezodorous guildinii, in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Temple, Joshua H; Davis, Jeffrey A; Hardke, Jarrod T; Price, Paul P; Leonard, B Rogers

    2016-06-17

    Redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), is a significant soybean pest across the mid-south region of the United States. The objectives of these studies were to characterize: (1) redbanded stink bug oviposition in relationship to soybean maturity group (MG), plant structure, crop phenology, and vertical distribution within the plant canopy; and (2) redbanded stink bug adult sex ratios in relationship to soybean phenology. A total of 5645 redbanded stink bug eggs in 421 egg masses (clusters) were field collected from naturally-occurring populations in MG IV and V soybean over a three year period (2009 to 2011). The mean number of eggs within a cluster was 16.6 ± 0.3. Plant structures by MG interactions were highly significant with more egg masses oviposited on leaves in MG IV (79.4%) and more on pods in MG V (72.7%). The ratio of females to males was similar in all soybean growth stages except R5, where the sex ratio increased to 1.4:1, coinciding with peak oviposition. Only 29.9% of egg clusters in MG IV and 18.3% of egg clusters in MG V were oviposited in the upper 35 cm of the soybean canopy. Based on these results, sampling strategies and insecticide application placement for stink bugs may require modification.

  11. Sex-Based Differences in Asthma among Preschool and School-Aged Children in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Yeonsoo; Shin, Anna

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore risk factors related to asthma prevalence among preschool and school-aged children using a representative national dataset from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) conducted from 2009–2011. We evaluated the demographic information, health status, household environment, socioeconomic status, and parents’ health status of 3,542 children aged 4–12 years. A sex-stratified multivariate logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted prevalence odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals after accounting for primary sample units, stratification, and sample weights. The sex-specific asthma prevalence in the 4- to 12-year-old children was 7.39% in boys and 6.27% in girls. Boys and girls with comorbid atopic dermatitis were more likely to have asthma than those without atopic dermatitis (boys: OR = 2.20, p = 0.0071; girls: OR = 2.33, p = 0.0031). Boys and girls with ≥1 asthmatic parent were more likely to have asthma than those without asthmatic parents (boys: OR = 3.90, p = 0.0006; girls: OR = 3.65, p = 0.0138). As girls got older, the prevalence of asthma decreased (OR = 0.90, p = 0.0408). Girls residing in rural areas were 60% less likely to have asthma than those residing in urban areas (p = 0.0309). Boys with ≥5 family members were more likely to have asthma than those with ≤3 family members (OR = 2.45, p = 0.0323). The factors related to asthma prevalence may differ depending on sex in preschool and school-aged children. By understanding the characteristics of sex-based differences in asthma, individualized asthma management plans may be established clinically. PMID:26441284

  12. Interpreting digit ratio (2D:4D)-behavior correlations: 2D:4D sex difference, stability, and behavioral correlates and their replicability in young children.

    PubMed

    Wong, Wang I; Hines, Melissa

    2016-02-01

    The popularity of using the ratio of the second to the fourth digit (2D:4D) to study influences of early androgen exposure on human behavior relies, in part, on a report that the ratio is sex-dimorphic and stable from age 2 years (Manning etal., 1998). However, subsequent research has rarely replicated this finding. Moreover, although 2D:4D has been correlated with many behaviors, these correlations are often inconsistent. Young children's 2D:4D-behavior correlations may be more consistent than those of older individuals, because young children have experienced fewer postnatal influences. To evaluate the usefulness of 2D:4D as a biomarker of prenatal androgen exposure in studies of 2D:4D-behavior correlations, we assessed its sex difference, temporal stability, and behavioral correlates over a 6- to 8-month period in 126, 2- to 3-year-old children, providing a rare same-sample replicability test. We found a moderate sex difference on both hands and high temporal stability. However, between-sex overlap and within-sex variability were also large. Only 3 of 24 correlations with sex-typed behaviors-scores on the Preschool Activities Inventory (PSAI), preference for a boy-typical toy, preference for a girl-typical toy, were significant and in the predicted direction, all of which involved the PSAI, partially confirming findings from another study. Correlation coefficients were larger for behaviors that showed larger sex differences. But, as in older samples, the overall pattern showed inconsistency across time, sex, and hand. Therefore, although sex-dimorphic and stable, 2D:4D-behavior correlations are no more consistent for young children than for older samples. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

  13. Effects of age, sex and smoking on ankle-brachial index in a Finnish population at risk for cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Syvänen, Kari; Aarnio, Pertti; Jaatinen, Pekka; Korhonen, Päivi

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND Smoking is a well-known risk factor for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Data regarding differences in the prevalence of PAD between sexes are somewhat controversial. In addition, most studies indicate that the prevalence of PAD increases with age in both sexes. In the present study, the effects of sex, age and smoking on the ankle-brachial index (ABI) in a Finnish cardiovascular risk population were investigated. OBJECTIVES To investigate the relationship between the ankle-brachial index, and age, sex and smoking in a Finnish population at risk for cardiovascular disease. METHODS All men and women between 45 and 70 years of age living in a rural town (Harjavalta, Finland; total population 7700) were invited to participate in a population survey (Harmonica study). Patients with previously diagnosed diabetes or vascular disease were excluded. In total, 2856 patients were invited to participate in the study. From these subjects, a cardiovascular risk population was screened. Complete data were available from 1028 persons. ABI (the ratio between the posterior tibial or dorsalis pedis artery and brachial artery pressures) was measured, and questionnaires were used to detect smoking status and relevant medical history. Only current smoking status was taken into account. RESULTS The mean ABI for the entire study population was 1.10 (range 0.56 to 1.64). Current smokers had a lower mean ABI (1.06; P<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in ABI values among age groups, although the majority of patients with ABI values below 0.9 were older than 60 years of age. There was no statistically significant difference in ABI between sexes. CONCLUSION As previously reported, the present study shows the significant effect of smoking in the development of PAD. No statistically significant difference was found among age groups, but the tendency was toward lower ABIs in the oldest age groups. Sex had a minimal effect on the ABI. PMID:22477327

  14. Mate choice and the operational sex ratio: an experimental test with robotic crabs.

    PubMed

    Hayes, C L; Callander, S; Booksmythe, I; Jennions, M D; Backwell, P R Y

    2016-07-01

    The operational sex ratio (OSR: sexually active males: receptive females) predicts the intensity of competition for mates. It is less clear, however, under what circumstances, the OSR predicts the strength of sexual selection - that is, the extent to which variation in mating success is attributable to traits that increase the bearer's attractiveness and/or fighting ability. To establish causality, experiments that manipulate the OSR are required. Furthermore, if it is possible to control for any OSR-dependent changes in the chosen sex (e.g. changes in male courtship), we can directly test whether the OSR affects the behaviour of the choosing sex (e.g. female choice decisions). We conducted female mate choice experiments in the field using robotic models of male fiddler crabs (Uca mjoebergi). We used a novel design with two females tested sequentially per trial. As in nature, the choice of the first female to mate therefore affected the mates available to the next female. In general, we detected significant sexual selection due to female choice for 'males' with larger claws. Importantly, the strength of sexual selection did not vary across five different OSR/density treatments. However, as the OSR decreased (hence the number of available males declined), females chose the 'males' with the largest claws available significantly more often than expected by chance. Possible reasons for this mismatch between the expected and observed effects of the OSR on the strength of sexual selection are discussed. PMID:27087241

  15. SEX RATIO VARIATION IN THE LESSONIA NIGRESCENS COMPLEX (LAMINARIALES, PHAEOPHYCEAE): EFFECT OF LATITUDE, TEMPERATURE, AND MARGINALITY(1).

    PubMed

    Valeria Oppliger, Luz; Correa, Juan A; Faugeron, Sylvain; Beltrán, Jessica; Tellier, Florence; Valero, Myriam; Destombe, Christophe

    2011-02-01

    Little is known about variation of sex ratio, the proportion of males to females, in natural populations of seaweed, though it is a major determinant of the mating system. The observation of sexual chromosomes in kelps suggested that sex is partly genetically determined. However, it is probably not purely genetic since the sex ratio can be modified by environmental factors such as salinity or temperature. In this paper, sex ratio variation was studied in the kelp Lessonia nigrescens Bory complex, recently identified as two cryptic species occurring along the Chilean coast: one located north and the other south of the biogeographic boundary at latitude 29°-30° S. The life cycle of L. nigrescens is characterized by an alternation of microscopic haploid gametophytic individuals and large macroscopic fronds of diploid sporophytes. The sex ratio was recorded in progenies from 241 sporophytic individuals collected from 13 populations distributed along the Chilean coast in order (i) to examine the effect of an environmental gradient coupled with latitude, and (ii) to compare marginal populations to central populations of the two species. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that the sex ratios of the two cryptic species would be affected differently by temperature. First, our results demonstrate that sex ratio seems to be mainly genetically determined and temperature can significantly modify it. Populations of the northern species showed a lower frequency of males at 14°C than at 10°C, whereas populations of the southern species showed the opposite pattern. Second, both species displayed an increased variation in sex ratio at the range limits. This greater variation at the margins could be due either to differential mortality between sexes or to geographic parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction).

  16. Sex and Age Aspects in Patients Suffering From Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

    PubMed Central

    Piegeler, Tobias; Thoeni, Nils; Kaserer, Alexander; Brueesch, Martin; Sulser, Simon; Mueller, Stefan M.; Seifert, Burkhardt; Spahn, Donat R.; Ruetzler, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is indicated in patients suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Several studies suggest a sex- and age-based bias in the treatment of these patients. This particular bias may have a significant impact on the patient's outcome. However, the reasons for these findings are still unclear and discussed controversially. Therefore, the aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze treatment and out-of-hospital survival rates for potential sex- and age-based differences in patients requiring out-of-hospital CPR provided by an emergency physician in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. A total of 3961 consecutive patients (2003–2009) were included in this retrospective analysis to determine the frequency of out-of-hospital CPR and prehospital survival rate, and to identify potential sex- and age-based differences regarding survival and treatment of the patients. Seven hundred fifty-seven patients required CPR during the study period. Seventeen patients had to be excluded because of incomplete or inconclusive documentation, resulting in 743 patients (511 males, 229 females) undergoing further statistical analysis. Female patients were significantly older, compared with male patients (68 ± 18 [mean ± SD] vs 64 ± 18 years, P = .012). Men were resuscitated slightly more often than women (86.4% vs 82.1%). Overall out-of-hospital mortality rate was found to be 81.2% (492/632 patients) with no differences between sexes (82.1% for males vs 79% for females, odds ratio 1.039, 95% confidence interval 0.961–1.123). No sex differences were detected in out-of-hospital treatment, as assessed by the different medications administered, initial prehospital Glasgow Coma Scale, and prehospital suspected leading diagnosis. The data of our study demonstrate that there was no sex-based bias in treating patients requiring CPR in the prehospital setting in our physician-led emergency ambulance service. PMID:27149475

  17. Natural variation of the Y chromosome suppresses sex ratio distortion and modulates testis-specific gene expression in Drosophila simulans.

    PubMed

    Branco, A T; Tao, Y; Hartl, D L; Lemos, B

    2013-07-01

    X-linked sex-ratio distorters that disrupt spermatogenesis can cause a deficiency in functional Y-bearing sperm and a female-biased sex ratio. Y-linked modifiers that restore a normal sex ratio might be abundant and favored when a X-linked distorter is present. Here we investigated natural variation of Y-linked suppressors of sex-ratio in the Winters systems and the ability of these chromosomes to modulate gene expression in Drosophila simulans. Seventy-eight Y chromosomes of worldwide origin were assayed for their resistance to the X-linked sex-ratio distorter gene Dox. Y chromosome diversity caused males to sire ∼63% to ∼98% female progeny. Genome-wide gene expression analysis revealed hundreds of genes differentially expressed between isogenic males with sensitive (high sex ratio) and resistant (low sex ratio) Y chromosomes from the same population. Although the expression of about 75% of all testis-specific genes remained unchanged across Y chromosomes, a subset of post-meiotic genes was upregulated by resistant Y chromosomes. Conversely, a set of accessory gland-specific genes and mitochondrial genes were downregulated in males with resistant Y chromosomes. The D. simulans Y chromosome also modulated gene expression in XXY females in which the Y-linked protein-coding genes are not transcribed. The data suggest that the Y chromosome might exert its regulatory functions through epigenetic mechanisms that do not require the expression of protein-coding genes. The gene network that modulates sex ratio distortion by the Y chromosome is poorly understood, other than that it might include interactions with mitochondria and enriched for genes expressed in post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis.

  18. Association of Sex Hormones, Aging and Atrial Fibrillation in Men: The Framingham Heart Study

    PubMed Central

    Magnani, Jared W.; Moser, Carlee B.; Murabito, Joanne M.; Sullivan, Lisa M.; Wang, Na; Ellinor, Patrick T.; Vasan, Ramachandran S.; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Coviello, Andrea D.

    2014-01-01

    Background Endogenous sex hormones have been related to cardiovascular outcomes and mortality. We hypothesized that sex hormones are related to atrial fibrillation (AF) in a community-based cohort of middle-aged to older men. Methods and Results We examined testosterone, estradiol, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEA-S]) in relation to incident AF in men participating in the Framingham Heart Study. We assessed the 10-year risk of AF in multivariable-adjusted hazard models. The cohort consisted of 1251 men (age 68.0±8.2), of whom 275 developed incident AF. We identified a significant interaction between age and testosterone, and therefore stratified men into age 55–69 (n=786), 70–79 (n=351), and ≥80 (n=114). In men 55–69 each 1-standard deviation (SD) decrease in testosterone was associated with hazard ratio (HR) 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07 to 1.59) for incident AF. The association between testosterone and 10-year incident AF in men 70–79 did not reach statistical significance. In men ≥80 years a 1-SD decrease in testosterone was associated with HR 3.53 (95% CI, 1.96 to 6.37) for AF risk. Estradiol was associated with incident AF (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.26). DHEA-S had a borderline association with risk of AF that was not statistically significant (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.28). Conclusions Testosterone and estradiol are associated with incident AF in a cohort of older men. Testosterone deficiency in men ≥80 is strongly associated with AF risk. The clinical and electrophysiologic mechanisms underlying the associations between sex hormones and AF in older men merit continued investigation. PMID:24610804

  19. Colony size, sex ratio and cohabitation in roosts of Phyllostomus hastatus (Pallas) (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae).

    PubMed

    Costa, L M; Lourenço, E C; Esbérard, C E L; Silva, R M

    2010-11-01

    Phyllostomus hastatus bat is species broadly distributed over the Neotropical region, which uses as diurnal roosts caves, hollow trees, palm leaves and human buildings. Thirteen diurnal roosts of P. hastatus were analysed from 1990 to 2009 in several localities of Rio de Janeiro State, regarding environment (rural, urban or protected area), type of roost (hollow tree, basement or roof), sex ratio and cohabitation. A nocturnal roost was also analysed. Sex ratio of P. hastatus varied considerably among roosts what may be explained by the fact this species can roost alone, in couples, in harems or in groups of bachelor males. Phyllostomus hastatus was observed in cohabitation with three other species: Molossus rufus, Molossus molossus and Myotis nigricans. Due to the frequency of cohabitation observed between P. hastatus and species of the genus Molossus, one or more advantages for the members of this association may be expected. The simultaneous usage of a feeding roost by a group of bachelor males is unknown information in the literature, and may suggest that this kind of group may interact with each other even when away from their diurnal roosts.

  20. The mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp.

    PubMed

    Raja, Shazia; Suleman, Nazia; Compton, Stephen G; Moore, Jamie C

    2008-07-22

    Sex ratio strategies in species subject to local mate competition (LMC), and in particular their fit to quantitative theoretical predictions, provide insight into constraints upon adaptation. Pollinating fig wasps are widely used in such studies because their ecology resembles theory assumptions, but the cues used by foundresses to assess potential LMC have not previously been determined. We show that Liporrhopalum tentacularis females (foundresses) use their clutch size as a cue. First, we make use of species ecology (foundresses lay multiple clutches, with second clutches smaller than first) to show that increases in sex ratio in multi-foundress figs occur only when foundresses are oviposition site limited, i.e. that there is no direct response to foundress density. Second, we introduce a novel technique to quantify foundress oviposition sequences and show, consistent with the theoretical predictions concerning clutch size-only strategies, that they produce mainly male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females interspersed by a few males. We then discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of the limits of the ability of natural selection to produce 'perfect' organisms, and for our understanding of when different cue use patterns evolve. PMID:18430647

  1. Sperm competitive ability evolves in response to experimental alteration of operational sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Nandy, Bodhisatta; Chakraborty, Pratip; Gupta, Vanika; Ali, Syed Zeeshan; Prasad, Nagaraj Guru

    2013-07-01

    In naturally polygamous organisms such as Drosophila, sperm competitive ability is one of the most important components of male fitness and is expected to evolve in response to varying degrees of male-male competition. Several studies have documented the existence of ample genetic variation in sperm competitive ability of males. However, many experimental evolution studies have found sperm competitive ability to be unresponsive to selection. Even direct selection for increased sperm competitive ability has failed to yield any measurable changes. Here we report the evolution of sperm competitive ability (sperm defense-P1, offense-P2) in a set of replicate populations of Drosophila melanogaster subjected to altered levels of male-male competition (generated by varying the operational sex ratio) for 55-60 generations. Males from populations with female-biased operational sex ratio evolved reduced P1 and P2, without any measurable change in the male reproductive behavior. Males in the male-biased regime evolved increased P1, but there was no significant change in P2. Increase in P1 was associated with an increase in copulation duration, possibly indicating greater ejaculate investment by these males. This study is one of the few to provide empirical evidence for the evolution of sperm competitive ability of males under different levels of male-male competition.

  2. The mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp.

    PubMed

    Raja, Shazia; Suleman, Nazia; Compton, Stephen G; Moore, Jamie C

    2008-07-22

    Sex ratio strategies in species subject to local mate competition (LMC), and in particular their fit to quantitative theoretical predictions, provide insight into constraints upon adaptation. Pollinating fig wasps are widely used in such studies because their ecology resembles theory assumptions, but the cues used by foundresses to assess potential LMC have not previously been determined. We show that Liporrhopalum tentacularis females (foundresses) use their clutch size as a cue. First, we make use of species ecology (foundresses lay multiple clutches, with second clutches smaller than first) to show that increases in sex ratio in multi-foundress figs occur only when foundresses are oviposition site limited, i.e. that there is no direct response to foundress density. Second, we introduce a novel technique to quantify foundress oviposition sequences and show, consistent with the theoretical predictions concerning clutch size-only strategies, that they produce mainly male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females interspersed by a few males. We then discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of the limits of the ability of natural selection to produce 'perfect' organisms, and for our understanding of when different cue use patterns evolve.

  3. SEX RATIO AT BIRTH AND THE IDEAL FAMILY IN CHI LINH DISTRICT, VIETNAM

    PubMed Central

    Thuy Duong, Doan Thi

    2016-01-01

    Chi Linh district, which locates in the Red Delta River region, has been recognized as the “hot pot” of high sex ratio at birth in Vietnam. This paper used community-based periodic Demographic-Epidemiologic Surveillance System (CHILILAB) to describe sex ratio at birth (SRB) and identify social - economic factors that related to the SRB. A total 5,940 births born from August 1, 2004 to August 31, 2011 was included in analysis. The SRB of 116.6 boys/100 girls (CI: 110.7 – 122.5) was significantly higher than normal. SRB were found high among second child having only older sister(s), among third child and higher birth order, among mothers who were 35 years and older, running small business or homemakers. Interestingly, a SRB of 91.4 boys/100 girls (CI: 81.8 – 102) was found among second children having an older brother, this is significantly lower than the normal level. Further research should be done to assert if abortion is practiced both to have a son and to have a daughter. PMID:27499813

  4. The effect of parental and maternal-fetal histocompatibility at MHC on sex ratio in offspring.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, P; Martinetti, M; Gigli-Berzolari, F; Cuccia, M

    1990-04-01

    The secondary sex ratio (male births of total births) variation was investigated as a function of MHC antigens. Previous studies have indicated that at conception male zygotes are more frequent than female ones and abortions of male fetuses prevail. The present investigation addresses the question whether the histocompatibility relationships either between parents or between mother and offsprings may favor or hinder the outcome of pregnancy: particular combinations may cause distortions in the sex ratio. The results of the analysis of a sample of fertile families, demonstrate that, in first parities, female births are favored when parents share antigens at both HLA-A and -B loci (S.R. = 0.389), and mothers and fetuses share antigens at the HLA-B locus (S.R. = 0.222). The lack of antigens shared by parents at the three loci HLA-A, -B and -DR increases first male births (S.R. = 0.696). In the case of fetal maternal histocompatibility at DR locus only a slight, non-significant, increase in male first births (S.R. = 0.667) was observed. The effect of histocompatibility at HLA-B locus alone requires further investigation in order to assess the possible selective effect against male histocompatible embryos.

  5. A framework for analyzing sex-selective abortion: the example of changing sex ratios in Southern Caucasus

    PubMed Central

    Hohmann, Sophie A; Lefèvre, Cécile A; Garenne, Michel L

    2014-01-01

    The paper proposes a socioeconomic framework of supply, demand, and regulation to explain the development of sex-selective abortion in several parts of the world. The framework is then applied to three countries of southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) where sex-selective abortion has developed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors argue that sex-selective abortion cannot be explained simply by patriarchal social systems, sex discrimination, or son preference. The emphasis is put on the long-term acceptability of abortion in the region, on acceptability of sex-screening by both the medical establishment and by the population, on newly imported techniques of sex-screening, and on the changing demand for children associated with the major economic and social changes that followed the dismantlement of the Soviet Union. PMID:25349481

  6. Sex ratio of the offspring of Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in utero and lactationally in a three-generation study

    SciTech Connect

    Rowlands, J.C.; Budinsky, R.A. . E-mail: RABudinsky@dow.com; Aylward, L.L.; Faqi, A.S.; Carney, E.W.

    2006-10-01

    Reports of a decreased male/female sex ratio in children born to males exposed to TCDD in Seveso, Italy, at a young age have sparked examinations of this endpoint in other populations exposed to TCDD or related compounds. Overall, the male/female sex ratio results reported in these studies, with slightly different age-exposed male populations, have shown mixed results. Experimental studies of the effects of in utero exposure to TCDD in laboratory animals have reported no effect on the f{sub 1} sex ratio and mixed results for the sex ratio of the f{sub 2} generation. In order to better understand the potential effects of TCDD on second generation sex ratio, we retrieved archived data from a comprehensive three-generation feeding study of TCDD in rats that was conducted and published in the 1970s, but which did not publish data on sex ratio of the offspring [Murray, F.J., Smith, F.A., Nitschke, K.D., Humiston, C.G., Kociba, R.J., Schwetz, B.A., 1979. Three-generation reproduction study of rats given 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the diet. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 50, 241-252]. A re-examination of the original Murray et al. data found no statistically significant treatment-related changes in postnatal day 1 sex ratio in any generation of treated animals, consistent with one other relatively large study reporting on this endpoint. We discuss mechanistic data underlying a potential effect of TCDD on this endpoint. We conclude that the inconsistency in findings on sex ratio of the offspring of male rats exposed to TCDD in utero is likely due to random variation associated with a relatively small sample size, although differences between studies in strain of rat, dose regimen, and day of ascertainment of sex ratio cannot be ruled out.

  7. Cerebral cortex: an MRI-based study of volume and variance with age and sex.

    PubMed

    Carne, Ross P; Vogrin, Simon; Litewka, Lucas; Cook, Mark J

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine quantitative differences in lobar cerebral cortical volumes in a healthy adult population. Quantitative volumetric MRI of whole brain, cerebral and cerebellar volumes was performed in a cross-sectional analysis of 97 normal volunteers, with segmented frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortical volumes measured in a subgroup of 60 subjects, 30 male and 30 female, matched for age and sex. The right cerebral hemisphere was larger than the left across the study group with a small (<1%) but significant difference in symmetry (P<0.001). No difference was found between volumes of right and left cerebellar hemispheres. Rightward cerebral cortical asymmetry (right larger than left) was found to be significant across all lobes except parietal. Males had greater cerebral, cerebellar and cerebral cortical lobar volumes than females. Larger male cerebral cortical volumes were seen in all lobes except for left parietal. Females had greater left parietal to left cerebral hemisphere and smaller left temporal to left cerebral hemisphere ratios. There was a mild reduction in cerebral volumes with age, more marked in males. This study confirms and augments past work indicating underlying structural asymmetries in the human brain, and provides further evidence that brain structures in humans are differentially sensitive to the effects of both age and sex.

  8. Differential sex- and age-related migration of Bluethroats Luscinia svecica at Eilat, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markovets, Mikhail L.; Zduniak, Piotr; Yosef, Reuven

    2008-07-01

    This paper examines the phenology and biometrics of Bluethroats staging in the Eilat region. This is of special interest because of the extreme conditions with which this temperate zone breeding species has to contend because Eilat is a desert habitat and is the last green area before the crossing of the deserts in autumn or after it in spring. Data were collected during 20 spring and 18 autumn migration seasons in the years 1984-2003, and a total of 7,464 Bluethroat were recorded. The number of trapped birds was much higher in autumn than in spring. The majority of Bluethroats caught in both the autumn and spring migrations were juveniles. We found differences in sex ratio in the individual age classes only in the autumn wherein among both adults and juveniles, males were in greater numbers. We also found significant differences in the dates of ringed birds from different sex-age classes in the spring and in autumn migrations. In spring, males from both age classes were caught earlier than females. In autumn, adult birds arrived earlier than juveniles. We think that it is important to identify and conserve the high quality stopover habitats such as Eilat wherein not only Bluethroats have been shown to stopover but also several hundred other species.

  9. Demographic structure, sex ratio and growth rates of southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) on the spawning ground.

    PubMed

    Farley, Jessica H; Eveson, J Paige; Davis, Tim L O; Andamari, Retno; Proctor, Craig H; Nugraha, Budi; Davies, Campbell R

    2014-01-01

    The demographics of the southern bluefin tuna (SBT) Thunnus maccoyii spawning stock were examined through a large-scale monitoring program of the Indonesian longline catch on the spawning ground between 1995 and 2012. The size and age structure of the spawning population has undergone significant changes since monitoring began. There has been a reduction in the relative abundance of larger/older SBT in the catch since the early 2000s, and a corresponding decrease in mean length and age, but there was no evidence of a significant truncation of the age distribution. Pulses of young SBT appear in the catches in the early- and mid-2000s and may be the first evidence of increased recruitment into the spawning stock since 1995. Fish in these two recruitment pulses were spawned around 1991 and 1997. Size-related variations in sex ratio were also observed with female bias for fish less than 170 cm FL and male bias for fish greater than 170 cm FL. This trend of increasing proportion of males with size above 170 cm FL is likely to be related to sexual dimorphism in growth rates as male length-at-age is greater than that for females after age 10 years. Mean length-at-age of fish aged 8-10 years was greater for both males and females on the spawning ground than off the spawning ground, suggesting that size may be the dominant factor determining timing of maturation in SBT. In addition to these direct results, the data and samples from this program have been central to the assessment and management of this internationally harvested stock.

  10. Demographic Structure, Sex Ratio and Growth Rates of Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) on the Spawning Ground

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Jessica H.; Eveson, J. Paige; Davis, Tim L. O.; Andamari, Retno; Proctor, Craig H.; Nugraha, Budi; Davies, Campbell R.

    2014-01-01

    The demographics of the southern bluefin tuna (SBT) Thunnus maccoyii spawning stock were examined through a large-scale monitoring program of the Indonesian longline catch on the spawning ground between 1995 and 2012. The size and age structure of the spawning population has undergone significant changes since monitoring began. There has been a reduction in the relative abundance of larger/older SBT in the catch since the early 2000s, and a corresponding decrease in mean length and age, but there was no evidence of a significant truncation of the age distribution. Pulses of young SBT appear in the catches in the early- and mid-2000s and may be the first evidence of increased recruitment into the spawning stock since 1995. Fish in these two recruitment pulses were spawned around 1991 and 1997. Size-related variations in sex ratio were also observed with female bias for fish less than 170 cm FL and male bias for fish greater than 170 cm FL. This trend of increasing proportion of males with size above 170 cm FL is likely to be related to sexual dimorphism in growth rates as male length-at-age is greater than that for females after age 10 years. Mean length-at-age of fish aged 8–10 years was greater for both males and females on the spawning ground than off the spawning ground, suggesting that size may be the dominant factor determining timing of maturation in SBT. In addition to these direct results, the data and samples from this program have been central to the assessment and management of this internationally harvested stock. PMID:24797529

  11. Aging and memory: corrections for age, sex and education for three widely used memory tests.

    PubMed

    Zappalà, G; Measso, G; Cavarzeran, F; Grigoletto, F; Lebowitz, B; Pirozzolo, F; Amaducci, L; Massari, D; Crook, T

    1995-04-01

    The associate learning subtest from the Wechsler Memory Scale; Benton's Visual Retention test and a Controlled Word Association Task (FAS) were administered to a random sample of normal, healthy individuals whose age ranged from 20 to 79 years, recruited within the Italian peninsula. The neuropsychological examination took place on a mobile unit and the tests were given by the same team of neuropsychologists to reduce variability among examiners. The Research Project was known as Progetto Memoria. Corrections to the scores of these tests were calculated for age, sex, and education. These corrected values will allow clinicians to screen for memory impairment with greater precision among normally aging individuals, thus improving differential diagnosis between physiologic and pathologic deterioration of cognitive functions.

  12. Physical Attractiveness, Age, and Sex as Determinants of Reactions to Resumes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quereshi, M. Y.; Kay, Janet P.

    1986-01-01

    Physical attractiveness, age, and sex were manipulated to determine their effect on the evaluation of 54 hypothetical applicants' resumes for three different jobs by 60 Master's in Business Administration students. Physical attractiveness favorably influenced the suitability ratings for all jobs; raters' sex and age were not significant but…

  13. Surprising Lack of Sex Differences in Normal Cognitive Aging in Twins

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finkel, Deborah; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Berg, Stig; Pedersen, Nancy L.

    2006-01-01

    Sex differences in the etiology of normal cognitive functioning in aging remain largely unexplored. We conducted an investigation of genetic and environmental contributions to sex differences in level of cognitive performance and rate of decline in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) (Finkel & Pedersen, 2004) data set. Behavioral…

  14. Evaluation of Age, Sex, and Race Bias in the Personality Inventory for Children (PIC).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kline, Rex B.; Lachar, David

    1992-01-01

    Whether the external validity of the Personality Inventory for Children (PIC) was moderated by age, sex, or race was studied using 1,333 children and adolescents referred for mental health services. Race and sex generally did not moderate the relation of PIC scales to symptom checklists. Some relationships were age modified. (SLD)

  15. The Influence of Alcohol Consumption in Conjunction with Sex Hormone Deficiency on Ca/P Ratio in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lodi, Karina Bortolin; Marchini, Adriana Mathias Pereira da Silva; Santo, Ana Maria do Espírito; Rode, Sigmar de Mello; Marchini, Leonardo; da Rocha, Rosilene Fernandes

    2016-01-01

    Deficiency of sex hormones and excessive alcohol consumption are factors that have been related to alterations in the pattern of bone mineralization and osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible alterations in the calcium/phosphorus (Ca/P) ratio in the femur of rats subjected to sex hormone deficiency and/or alcohol consumption. Methods. Female and male Wistar rats (n = 108) were divided into ovariectomized (Ovx), orchiectomized (Orx), or sham-operated groups and subdivided according to diet: alcoholic diet (20% alcohol solution), isocaloric diet, and ad libitum diet. The diets were administered for 8 weeks. The Ca/P ratio in the femur was analyzed by energy dispersive micro-X-ray spectrometer (μEDX). Results. Consumption of alcohol reduced the Ca/P ratio in both females and males. The isocaloric diet reduced the Ca/P ratio in females. In groups with the ad libitum diet, the deficiency of sex hormones did not change the Ca/P ratio in females or males. However, the combination of sex hormone deficiency and alcoholic diet presented the lowest values for the Ca/P ratio in both females and males. Conclusions. There was a reduced Ca/P ratio in the femur of rats that consumed alcohol, which was exacerbated when combined with a deficiency of sex hormones. PMID:27073396

  16. The relation of chronic cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus to perceived health, and the moderating effects of sex and age.

    PubMed

    Ho, Sai Yin; Mak, Kwok Kei; Thomas, G Neil; Schooling, Mary; Fielding, Richard; Janus, Edward D; Lam, Tai Hing

    2007-10-01

    This study investigates the relation of five chronic cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus (DM) to perceived health, and the moderating effects of sex and age. In a community-based cross-sectional telephone survey in Hong Kong, 7730 Chinese aged 25-74 were interviewed in 1994-1996. The odds ratio for poor perceived health associated with each condition was calculated adjusting for age, sex and education. Subjects free from the six conditions were treated as the comparison group. Hypertension, angina, DM, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke were significantly associated with poor perceived health. The odds ratio of poor perceived health was significantly greater in men than in women for having more than one condition among DM, CHD and stroke (p=0.02), and insignificantly greater for stroke, CHD and angina. The odds ratios were significantly greater in the young (25-39) versus the old (60-74) for DM (p=0.008) in men and women combined, and for having either DM, CHD or stroke in men (p=0.02). These findings suggest that the relation of DM, CHD and stroke with poor perceived health tends to be stronger in men and younger adults. These findings have implications for health care workers and home carers who need to appreciate that the same condition may have a different perceived impact on persons of different sex and age, and be sensitive to their varying needs.

  17. In Search of Emerging Same-Sex Sexuality: Romantic Attractions at Age 13 Years.

    PubMed

    Li, Gu; Hines, Melissa

    2016-10-01

    Sex-typed behavior in childhood is significantly related to sexual orientation in adulthood. In addition, same-sex attractions in early adolescence are more non-exclusive than in adulthood and can differ from later same-sex orientations. However, little research has focused on romantic attractions as they emerge during early adolescence. Drawing a sample from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (197 girls, 204 boys), the current study examined whether same-sex romantic attractions at age 13 years were exclusive, and whether they were predicted by sex-typed behavior at age 3.5 years. No young adolescents in this sample reported exclusive same-sex attractions, and increased same-sex attractions were not significantly related to reduced other-sex sexualities. Childhood sex-typed behavior did not significantly predict early same-sex attractions, suggesting that early same-sex attractions differ from later same-sex orientations. The current study highlights the importance of studying the development of sexuality beginning prior to adulthood.

  18. Digit ratio (2D:4D), sex differences, allometry, and finger length of 12-30-year olds: evidence from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Internet study.

    PubMed

    Manning, John T

    2010-01-01

    Many studies have reported digit ratio (2D:4D) to be sexually dimorphic, (males lower 2D:4D than females). However, Kratochvíl and Flegr ([2009]: Biol Lett 5:643-646) have suggested that 2D regressed on 4D has an allometric regression line with nonzero Y-intercept that is shared by males and females. Thus, 2D is shorter than expected when 4D is long, and males have lower 2D:4D than females because they have longer fingers. In this study, it is shown that this suggestion may be incorrect because sex differences in slope were not considered. Participants were recruited in an Internet study and had an age range of 12-30 years. The expected sex difference in 2D:4D was found, and the regression of 2D on 4D showed a significant sex difference in slope (males lower than females). A comparison of 10 age groups (12 years, 13 years..., 21-30 years) showed that sexual dimorphism for fingers was age dependent, varying from monomorphic to very dimorphic. Changes in sexual dimorphism of 2D:4D were much less marked, but there was a significant reduction in mean 2D:4D with age. The tendency for slopes of 2D regressed on 4D to be lower in males compared with females was significant in eight age groups. Sex difference in 2D:4D varied across the age groups and was positively related to the magnitude of the difference in female and male slopes. In contrast to the report of Kratochvíl and Flegr, it was found that the regression of 2D on 4D showed sex differences in slope, and such differences gave rise to the sexual dimorphism in 2D:4D.

  19. Epigenetic regulation of sex ratios may explain natural variation in self-fertilization rates.

    PubMed

    Ellison, Amy; Rodríguez López, Carlos Marcelino; Moran, Paloma; Breen, James; Swain, Martin; Megias, Manuel; Hegarty, Matthew; Wilkinson, Mike; Pawluk, Rebecca; Consuegra, Sofia

    2015-11-22

    Self-fertilization (selfing) favours reproductive success when mate availability is low, but renders populations more vulnerable to environmental change by reducing genetic variability. A mixed-breeding strategy (alternating selfing and outcrossing) may allow species to balance these needs, but requires a system for regulating sexual identity. We explored the role of DNA methylation as a regulatory system for sex-ratio modulation in the mixed-mating fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. We found a significant interaction between sexual identity (male or hermaphrodite), temperature and methylation patterns when two selfing lines were exposed to different temperatures during development. We also identified several genes differentially methylated in males and hermaphrodites that represent candidates for the temperature-mediated sex regulation in K. marmoratus. We conclude that an epigenetic mechanism regulated by temperature modulates sexual identity in this selfing species, providing a potentially widespread mechanism by which environmental change may influence selfing rates. We also suggest that K. marmoratus, with naturally inbred populations, represents a good vertebrate model for epigenetic studies. PMID:26559950

  20. Unifying cornerstones of sexual selection: operational sex ratio, Bateman gradient and the scope for competitive investment.

    PubMed

    Kokko, Hanna; Klug, Hope; Jennions, Michael D

    2012-11-01

    What explains variation in the strength of sexual selection across species, populations or differences between the sexes? Here, we show that unifying two well-known lines of thinking provides the necessary conceptual framework to account for variation in sexual selection. The Bateman gradient and the operational sex ratio (OSR) are incomplete in complementary ways: the former describes the fitness gain per mating and the latter the potential difficulty of achieving it. We combine this insight with an analysis of the scope for sexually selected traits to spread despite naturally selected costs. We explain why the OSR sometimes does not affect the strength of sexual selection. An explanation of sexual selection becomes more logical when a long 'dry time' ('time out', recovery after mating due to e.g. parental care) is understood to reduce the expected time to the next mating when in the mating pool (i.e. available to mate again). This implies weaker selection to shorten the wait. An integrative view of sexual selection combines an understanding of the origin of OSR biases with how they are reflected in the Bateman gradient, and how this can produce selection for mate acquisition traits despite naturally selected costs.

  1. Forest fragmentation is associated with primary brood sex ratio in the treecreeper (Certhia familiaris).

    PubMed

    Suorsa, Petri; Helle, Heikki; Huhta, Esa; Jäntti, Ari; Nikula, Ari; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2003-11-01

    We studied the primary brood sex ratio of an old-growth forest passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), along a gradient of forest fragmentation. We found evidence that male nestlings were more costly to produce, since they suffered twofold higher nestling mortality and were larger in body size than females. Furthermore, the proportion of males in the brood was positively associated with the provisioning rate and the amount of food delivered to the nestlings. During the first broods, a high edge density and a high proportion of pine forests around the nests were related to a decreased production of males. The densities of spiders, the main food of the treecreeper, were 38% higher on spruce trunks than on pine trunks. This suggests that pine-dominated territories with female-biased broods may have contained less food during the first broods. The observation was further supported by the fact that the feeding frequencies were lower in territories with high proportions of pines. In the second broods, territories with a high forest patch density produced female-biased broods, whereas high-quality territories with a large amount of deciduous trees and mixed forests produced male-biased broods. Our results suggest that habitat quality as measured by habitat characteristics is associated with sex allocation in free-living birds.

  2. Updating UK estimates of age, sex and period specific cumulative constant tar cigarette consumption per adult

    PubMed Central

    Forey, B.; Lee, P.; Fry, J.

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND—In 1993 we presented age and sex specific estimates of cumulative constant tar cigarette consumption (CCTCC) per adult for five year periods to 1986-90. These were derived from annual surveys conducted for the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) since 1946, extrapolated back to 1891 for men and to 1921 for women and corrected for the decline in average (machine smoked) tar levels. We now provide estimates for 1991-5.
METHODS—TMA surveys having ceased, 1991-5 estimates of manufactured cigarette consumption per adult (MCA) were derived from the General Household Survey (GHS) and corrected for the continuing decline in tar. These estimates were divided by 0.75 (men) and 0.80 (women), based on a comparison of GHS and TMA data for 1971-90, to allow accumulation with the TMA derived estimates prior to 1991.
RESULTS—For both sexes the GHS/TMA ratio of MCA varied little by age or five year period, justifying the use of the correction factors when adjusting GHS estimates for 1991-95. TMA estimates were higher than GHS estimates as only TMA sales-corrected their data for understatement of smoking and the surveys differed in questions on handrolled cigarette smoking. The 1991-95 data confirm the continuing decline in CCTCC at all ages in men. Women show a less steep decline for ages 30-64 and an increase for ages 65-84.
CONCLUSION—The GHS data can validly be used to update the CCTCC estimates. Some reservations about the use of CCTCC are discussed.

 PMID:10193376

  3. Education And Gender Bias in the Sex Ratio At Birth: Evidence From India

    PubMed Central

    ECHÁVARRI, REBECA A.; EZCURRA, ROBERTO

    2010-01-01

    This article investigates the possible existence of a nonlinear link between female disadvantage in natality and education. To this end, we devise a theoretical model based on the key role of social interaction in explaining people’s acquisition of preferences, which justifies the existence of a nonmonotonic relationship between female disadvantage in natality and education. The empirical validity of the proposed model is examined for the case of India, using district-level data. In this context, our econometric analysis pays particular attention to the role of spatial dependence to avoid any potential problems of misspecification. The results confirm that the relationship between the sex ratio at birth and education in India follows an inverted U-shape. This finding is robust to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables in the analysis, and to the choice of the spatial weight matrix used to quantify the spatial interdependence between the sample districts. PMID:20355693

  4. Education and gender bias in the sex ratio at birth: evidence from India.

    PubMed

    Echávarri, Rebeca A; Ezcurra, Roberto

    2010-02-01

    This article investigates the possible existence of a nonlinear link between female disadvantage in natality and education. To this end, we devise a theoretical model based on the key role of social interaction in explaining people's acquisition of preferences, which justifies the existence of a nonmonotonic relationship between female disadvantage in natality and education. The empirical validity of the proposed model is examined for the case of India, using district-level data. In this context, our econometric analysis pays particular attention to the role of spatial dependence to avoid any potential problems of misspecification. The results confirm that the relationship between the sex ratio at birth and education in India follows an inverted U-shape. This finding is robust to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables in the analysis, and to the choice of the spatial weight matrix used to quantify the spatial interdependence between the sample districts.

  5. Ejaculate depletion patterns evolve in response to experimental manipulation of sex ratio in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Linklater, Jon R; Wertheim, Bregje; Wigby, Stuart; Chapman, Tracey

    2007-08-01

    We assessed the extent to which traits related to ejaculate investment have evolved in lines of Drosophila melanogaster that had an evolutionary history of maintenance at biased sex ratios. Measures of ejaculate investment were made in males that had been maintained at male-biased (MB) and female-biased (FB) adult sex ratios, in which levels of sperm competition were high and low, respectively. Theory predicts that when the risk of sperm competition is high and mating opportunities are rare (as they are for males in the MB populations), males should increase investment in their few matings. We therefore predicted that males from the MB lines would (1) exhibit increased investment in their first mating opportunities and (2) deplete their ejaculates at a faster rate when mating multiply, in comparison to FB males. To investigate these predictions we measured the single mating productivity of males from three replicates each of MB and FB lines mated to five wild-type virgin females in succession. In contrast to the first prediction, there was no evidence for differences in productivity between MB and FB line males in their first matings. The second prediction was upheld: mates of MB and FB males suffered increasingly reduced productivity with successive matings, but the decline was significantly more pronounced for MB than for FB males. There was a significant reduction in the size of the accessory glands and testes of males from the MB and FB regimes after five successive matings. However, the accessory glands, but not testes, of MB males became depleted at a significantly faster rate than those of FB males. The results show that male reproductive traits evolved in response to the level of sperm competition and suggest that the ability to maintain fertility over successive matings is associated with the rate of ejaculate, and particularly accessory gland, depletion.

  6. Effects of local extrinsic mortality rate, crime and sex ratio on preventable death in Northern Ireland

    PubMed Central

    Uggla, Caroline; Mace, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives: Individual investment in health varies greatly within populations and results in significant differences in the risk of preventable death. Life history theory predicts that individuals should alter their investment in health (somatic maintenance) in response to ecological cues that shift the perceived fitness payoffs to such investments. However, previous research has failed to isolate the effects of different ecological factors on preventable death, and has often relied on macro-level data without individual controls. Here, we test some key predictions concerning the local ecology—that higher extrinsic mortality rate (EMR), crime rate and mate-scarcity (male/female-biased sex ratio) at the ward-level—will be associated with a higher risk of preventable death. Methodology: We use census-based data from Northern Ireland (n = 927 150) on preventable death during an 8.7-year period from the 2001 Census and run Cox regressions for (i) accident/suicide or alcohol-related death and (ii) deaths from preventable diseases, for men and women separately, controlling for a wide range of individual variables. Results: We find evidence of ward-level EMR and crime rate being positively associated with preventable death among men, particularly men with low socioeconomic position. There was a tentative relationship between male-biased sex ratio and preventable death among women, but not among men. Conclusion and implications: Both behaviours that might lead to ‘risky’ death and health neglect might be adaptive responses to local ecologies. Efforts to reduce crime might be as effective as those to reduce extrinsic mortality, and both could have positive effects on various health behaviours. PMID:26338679

  7. Flow cytometric sexing of spider sperm reveals an equal sperm production ratio in a female-biased species

    PubMed Central

    Vanthournout, B.; Deswarte, K.; Hammad, H.; Bilde, T.; Lambrecht, B.; Hendrickx, F.

    2014-01-01

    Producing equal amounts of male and female offspring has long been considered an evolutionarily stable strategy. Nevertheless, exceptions to this general rule (i.e. male and female biases) are documented in many taxa, making sex allocation an important domain in current evolutionary biology research. Pinpointing the underlying mechanism of sex ratio bias is challenging owing to the multitude of potential sex ratio-biasing factors. In the dwarf spider, Oedothorax gibbosus, infection with the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia results in a female bias. However, pedigree analysis reveals that other factors influence sex ratio variation. In this paper, we investigate whether this additional variation can be explained by the unequal production of male- and female-determining sperm cells during sperm production. Using flow cytometry, we show that males produce equal amounts of male- and female-determining sperm cells; thus bias in sperm production does not contribute to the sex ratio bias observed in this species. This demonstrates that other factors such as parental genes suppressing endosymbiont effects and cryptic female choice might play a role in sex allocation in this species. PMID:24850893

  8. COPD prevalence is increased in lung cancer, independent of age, sex and smoking history.

    PubMed

    Young, R P; Hopkins, R J; Christmas, T; Black, P N; Metcalf, P; Gamble, G D

    2009-08-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common comorbid disease in lung cancer, estimated to affect 40-70% of lung cancer patients, depending on diagnostic criteria. As smoking exposure is found in 85-90% of those diagnosed with either COPD or lung cancer, coexisting disease could merely reflect a shared smoking exposure. Potential confounding by age, sex and pack-yr smoking history, and/or by the possible effects of lung cancer on spirometry, may result in over-diagnosis of COPD prevalence. In the present study, the prevalence of COPD (pre-bronchodilator Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2+ criteria) in patients diagnosed with lung cancer was 50% compared with 8% in a randomly recruited community control group, matched for age, sex and pack-yr smoking exposure (n = 602, odds ratio 11.6; p<0.0001). In a subgroup analysis of those with lung cancer and lung function measured prior to the diagnosis of lung cancer (n = 127), we found a nonsignificant increase in COPD prevalence following diagnosis (56-61%; p = 0.45). After controlling for important variables, the prevalence of COPD in newly diagnosed lung cancer cases was six-fold greater than in matched smokers; this is much greater than previously reported. We conclude that COPD is both a common and important independent risk factor for lung cancer.

  9. Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio and litter size adjustment in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Rebecca A; Fletcher, Alison W

    2015-01-01

    Sex allocation theory has been a remarkably productive field in behavioral ecology with empirical evidence regularly supporting quantitative theoretical predictions. Across mammals in general and primates in particular, however, support for the various hypotheses has been more equivocal. Population-level sex ratio biases have often been interpreted as supportive, but evidence for small-scale facultative adjustment has rarely been found. The helper repayment (HR) also named the local resource enhancement (LRE) hypothesis predicts that, in cooperatively breeding species, mothers invest more in the sex which assists with rearing future offspring and that this bias will be more pronounced in mothers who require extra assistance (i.e., due to inexperience or a lack of available alloparents). We tested these hypotheses in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) utilizing the international studbook and birth records obtained through a questionnaire from ISIS-registered institutions. Infant sex, litter size, mother's age, parity, and group composition (presence of nonreproductive subordinate males and females) were determined from these records. The HR hypothesis was supported over the entire population, which was significantly biased toward males (the “helpful” sex). We found little support for helper repayment at the individual level, as primiparous females and those in groups without alloparents did not exhibit more extreme tendencies to produce male infants. Primiparous females were, however, more likely to produce singleton litters. Singleton births were more likely to be male, which suggests that there may be an interaction between litter size adjustment and sex allocation. This may be interpreted as supportive of the HR hypothesis, but alternative explanations at both the proximate and ultimate levels are possible. These possibilities warrant further consideration when attempting to understand the ambiguous results of primate sex ratio studies so far

  10. Immune function, sex ratios, and gonadal histopathology in double-crested cormorant chicks

    SciTech Connect

    Burull, E.J.; Goldberg, D.R.; Sileo, L.; Dale, T.; Allen, P.D.; Stromborg, K.L.; Larson, J.X.; Fry, D.M.

    1994-12-31

    There is evidence that environmental contaminants may be associated with endocrine and reproductive system abnormalities in colonial water birds. Little information is available on immune system response in chicks. Two double-crested cormorant (Phalocrocrozax auritus) colonies were monitored in 1993 for a comparative immune function study. Higher concentrations of organochlorines occurred in one colony. Parameters measured included: CBC, T and B-cell function, heterophil phagocytosis, lymphoid organ size and histopathology, and selected serum hormone analysis. Significant differences at the contaminated site included marked dysplasia and hypertrophy of thyroid gland, higher T3, lower cortisol, lower eosinophil counts, and increase phagocytosis at the contaminated site. Gonads of 101 deformed (cross-bill) chicks, siblings, and normal control chicks collected in 1992 and 1993 were examined microscopically because a sex-ration skewed towards females had been noted. Cross-billed chicks aged 12 to 15 days had disorganized or delayed follicular development which normalized by 20 days of age. Cross-billed or otherwise abnormal chicks aged 18 to 23 days had hypertrophic seminiferous tubules, a decreased interstitium, and decreased evidence of active Leydig cells.

  11. Plexogenic arteriopathy in broiler lungs: Evaluation of line, age, and sex influences1

    PubMed Central

    Wideman, R. F.; Mason, J. G.; Anthony, N. B.; Cross, D.

    2015-01-01

    Plexiform lesions form in the terminal pulmonary arterioles of human patients suffering from prolonged pulmonary arterial hypertension. Plexiform lesions also develop in broiler lungs, but lesion incidences are not strongly correlated with sustained pulmonary hypertension as reflected by right to total ventricular weight (RVTV) ratios. The present study was conducted to assess plexiform lesion incidences in broiler lines that have been divergently selected for susceptibility or resistance to pulmonary hypertension. Broilers from susceptible (SUS) and resistant (RES) lines were reared together and only clinically healthy (nonascitic, noncyanotic) individuals were evaluated to minimize potential line differences in cardiopulmonary hemodynamics. The objective was to determine if an innate genetic predisposition for plexogenic arteriopathy would be exposed in SUS broilers when compared with RES broilers in the absence of extreme differences in cardiopulmonary hemodynamics. Broilers up to 12 wk age from the SUS and RES lines had essentially equivalent BW, indices of cardiopulmonary function (left ventricle + septum weight, total ventricle weight, and RVTV ratios), and lung volumes within a sex. Average RVTV ratios for broilers from both lines were indicative of normal pulmonary arterial pressures at all ages sampled. Nevertheless, plexiform lesions were detected in SUS and RES broiler lungs immediately posthatch and thereafter at all ages sampled. Lesion incidences were consistently low and did not differ between the lines within any of the sampling ages. This evidence demonstrates that plexiform lesions develop extremely rapidly in broiler chicks, apparently without the prerequisite for vascular stress caused by severe, prolonged pulmonary arterial hypertension. No innate genetic predisposition for complex vascular lesion development appeared to exist in the SUS line when compared with the RES line. PMID:25681478

  12. What does it mean when age is related to recidivism among sex offenders?

    PubMed

    Rice, Marnie E; Harris, Grant T

    2014-04-01

    Age is a robust predictor of recidivism and an item on actuarial tools commonly used to predict sexual violent recidivism among sex offenders. However, little is known about whether or how much offenders' risk diminishes as a result of aging. In the first of two studies, we examined the sexual and violent recidivism of 533 sex offenders who were over age 50 on release. Age at index offense was at least as good at predicting both outcomes as was age at release, and age at index offense provided at least as much incremental validity in the prediction of violent recidivism to scores on a brief static actuarial tool. Neither age added incrementally to static score in the prediction of sexual recidivism. The second study examined how well age at first offense, age at index offense, and age at release predicted violent recidivism among 527 sex offenders aged 13 to 79 at release. Age at first offense predicted best. When age was removed from score on the Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, all ages added incrementally but age at release least to SORAG score. When participants were divided into quartiles based on age at index offense, there was no evidence from any quartile that age at release predicted violent recidivism better than age at first offense. The authors concluded that age at release is a poor index of within-subject changes in risk of sexual or violent recidivism. No adjustment to a sex offender's score on a comprehensive actuarial tool that includes age at first or index offense should be made simply because the offender is older.

  13. Effects of gamma radiation on development, sterility, fecundity, and sex ratio of Dermanyssus gallinae (DeGeer) (Acari: Dermanyssidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Entrekin, D.L.; Oliver, J.H. Jr.; Pound, J.M.

    1987-06-01

    Protonymphal Dermanyssus gallinae were irradiated with 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 3.0, and 6.0 krad of gamma radiation and subsequently monitored regarding their developmental, feeding, and mating success. Also, sex ratios of adults treated as protonymphs were recorded as were sex ratios of embryos and F1 adults produced by these adults. Doses up to 1.0 krad did not prevent development of treated protonymphs to the adult stage or stop mating. Three krad reduced the number of treated protonymphs attaining adulthood and 6.0-krad treatment prevented all mites from developing to the adult stage. Egg (embryo) production was normal for mites treated with 0.50 krad, but significantly curtailed by doses of 0.75 krad and greater. Radiation doses used in this study did not appear to affect the normal variable sex ratios observed in untreated mites.

  14. Female fertilization: effects of sex-specific density and sex ratio determined experimentally for Colorado potato beetles and Drosophila fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Vahl, Wouter K; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E; MacKinley, Pamela D; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability. PMID:23593206

  15. Female fertilization: effects of sex-specific density and sex ratio determined experimentally for Colorado potato beetles and Drosophila fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Vahl, Wouter K; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E; MacKinley, Pamela D; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability.

  16. Patellar dislocation in the United States: role of sex, age, race, and athletic participation.

    PubMed

    Waterman, Brian R; Belmont, Philip J; Owens, Brett D

    2012-03-01

    Patellar instability has been extensively studied in selected, high-risk cohorts, but the epidemiology in the general population remains unclear. A longitudinal, prospective epidemiological database was used to determine the incidence and demographic risk factors for patellar dislocations presenting to emergency departments of the United States. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was queried for all patellar dislocations presenting to emergency departments between 2003 and 2008. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were then calculated with respect to sex, age, and race. The hypothesis was that patellar dislocation is influenced by sex, age, race, and athletic participation. An estimated 40,544 patellar dislocations occurred among an at-risk population of 1,774,210,081 person-years for an incidence rate of 2.29 per 100,000 person-years in the United States. When compared with males, females showed no significant overall or age-stratified differences in the rates of patellar dislocation (IRR 0.85, 95% CI 0.71, 1.00; p = 0.08; p > 0.05). Peak incidence of patellar dislocation occurred between 15 and 19 years of age (11.19/100,000 person-years). When compared with Hispanic race, black and white race were associated with significantly higher rates of patellar dislocation (IRR 4.30 [95% CI 1.63, 6.97; p = 0.02], IRR 4.02 [95% CI 1.06, 6.98; p = 0.03], respectively). Nearly half (51.9%) of all patellar dislocation occurred during athletic activity, with basketball (18.2%), soccer (6.9%), and football (6.3%) associated with the highest percentage of patellar dislocation during athletics. Age between 15 and 19 years is associated with higher rates of patellar dislocation. Sex is not a significant risk factor for patellar dislocation. Black and white race are a significant risk factor for patellar dislocation when compared with Hispanic race. Half of all patellar dislocation occurs during athletic activity. This study was conducted on the Level of evidence II.

  17. Hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis affects sex ratio of bovine and murine preimplantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Adela; Madrid-Bury, Ninoska; Fernández, Raúl; Pérez-Garnelo, Sonia; Moreira, Pedro; Pintado, Belén; de la Fuente, Julio; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso

    2003-06-01

    The effect of glucose in the medium used during in vitro culture on both cell death by apoptosis and the sex ratio of bovine blastocysts derived from in vitro-matured and in vitro-fertilized oocytes was evaluated. Oocytes were matured, inseminated, and cultured in vitro in mSOF medium with 10% FCS with or without glucose supplementation. Exposure to high concentrations of glucose (10, 20, and 30 mM) during bovine embryo development in vitro from zygote to blastocyst resulted in a decrease in the number of cells per embryo and an increase in the frequency of apoptotic cells. A significantly higher proportion of females was found among those embryos that developed under hyperglycemic conditions in vitro. Moreover, both murine and bovine blastocysts incubated for 6 hr in 20 mM glucose had a significantly higher number of apoptotic cells in comparison to control. In this study, we also determined whether blastocyst production of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) differs between the sexes. Our results show that female bovine blastocysts produce significantly higher amounts of XIAP mRNA than males and this could be crucial in explaining the higher proportion of female blastocysts observed following in vitro culture under hyperglycemic conditions which induce apoptosis. Moreover, a higher proportion of female murine blastocysts cultured under hyperglycemic conditions were implanted in the uterus (65.3 of implantations from embryos cultured with 20 mM of glucose are females vs. 49% in control). This mechanism provides an explanation for the significant reduction of male children born to diabetic mothers.

  18. Breeding periodicity for male sea turtles, operational sex ratios, and implications in the face of climate change.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Fossette, Sabrina; Katselidis, Kostas A; Schofield, Gail; Gravenor, Mike B

    2010-12-01

    Species that have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) often produce highly skewed offspring sex ratios contrary to long-standing theoretical predictions. This ecological enigma has provoked concern that climate change may induce the production of single-sex generations and hence lead to population extirpation. All species of sea turtles exhibit TSD, many are already endangered, and most already produce sex ratios skewed to the sex produced at warmer temperatures (females). We tracked male loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Zakynthos, Greece, throughout the entire interval between successive breeding seasons and identified individuals on their breeding grounds, using photoidentification, to determine breeding periodicity and operational sex ratios. Males returned to breed at least twice as frequently as females. We estimated that the hatchling sex ratio of 70:30 female to male for this rookery will translate into an overall operational sex ratio (OSR) (i.e., ratio of total number of males vs females breeding each year) of close to 50:50 female to male. We followed three male turtles for between 10 and 12 months during which time they all traveled back to the breeding grounds. Flipper tagging revealed the proportion of females returning to nest after intervals of 1, 2, 3, and 4 years were 0.21, 0.38, 0.29, and 0.12, respectively (mean interval 2.3 years). A further nine male turtles were tracked for short periods to determine their departure date from the breeding grounds. These departure dates were combined with a photoidentification data set of 165 individuals identified on in-water transect surveys at the start of the breeding season to develop a statistical model of the population dynamics. This model produced a maximum likelihood estimate that males visit the breeding site 2.6 times more often than females (95%CI 2.1, 3.1), which was consistent with the data from satellite tracking and flipper tagging. Increased frequency of male breeding will

  19. Estimating age ratios and size of pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging.

    PubMed

    Monson, Daniel H; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010-2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m(2) (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03-0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0-2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sa