Empirical evidence of familial conflict in the sea

Meeting Abstract

S3.3  Monday, Jan. 4  Empirical evidence of familial conflict in the sea OYARZUN, FX*; GROSBERG, RK; University of Washington, Seattle foyarzun@u.washington.edu

In sexually reproducing organisms, family conflict often forms a network of interactions in which the costs and benefits of conflict and cooperation may vary among pathways. Individuals are more related to themselves than to any other family member, however mothers are equally related to all of their offspring while offspring can have different degrees of relatedness with their siblings. Consequently, genetic conflicts of interest over resources are inevitable and strategies that maximize the fitness of one family member typically do so at the expense of other family members. Few experimental studies to date have expanded the analysis of conflict resolution into the domain of multiway conflicts of interest, leaving open the general question of the empirical importance of such approach. We analyze theory and data for marine organisms concerning the occurrence and resolution of multiway conflicts of interest between males and females over mating and care, parents and offspring over optimal allocation, and siblings over parental resources. We emphasize recent studies of two marine systems, the poecilogonous annelid Boccardia proboscidea and the marine snail Solenosteira macrospira. Both systems provide exceptional opportunities to examine observationally and experimentally multiple pathways of family conflict. We discuss the role that paternity might play in these systems and on how the interaction between mating systems, family conflict and environmental stressors could explain many apparent paradoxes of life histories and diversification in the sea.

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