EXPERIMENTAL TESTS OF SEX ALLOCATION THEORY WITH TWO SPECIES OF SIMULTANEOUSLY HERMAPHRODITIC ACORN BARNACLES

Authors

  • Jeffrey Matthew Hoch,

    1. Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5245
    2. Present address: Southeast Environmental Research Center, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, 33199
    3. E-mail: jhoch@fiu.edu
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  • Jeffrey S. Levinton

    1. Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5245
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Abstract

Sex allocation theory for simultaneous hermaphrodites predicts increases in relative allocation to male-specific function as competition for fertilizations increases. Theoretical models developed specifically for competing acorn barnacles predict that the proportional allocation to male function increases toward an asymptote of 50% as the number of competitors for fertilizations increases. Experimental manipulations were used to investigate how mate competition affected both relative and absolute allocation to the sex functions for two species of acorn barnacle: Semibalanus balanoides and Balanus glandula. The ratio of male to female allocation did not increase with the number of competitors for either species. However, both species showed increased allocation to male function (estimated as total mass of sex-specific tissues) with increased crowding. Allocation to female function seemed to be limited by other factors and did not vary with mating group size as predicted. Allocation to male and female function were both positively related to body size, but a trade-off between male and female function, a key assumption of prior models, was not observed.

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