Reproductive Interference and Satyrisation; An examination of theoretical components and potential practical application.

Mitchell, Christina Elise (2023) Reproductive Interference and Satyrisation; An examination of theoretical components and potential practical application. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The aim of this thesis was to investigate evolutionary forces and other factors that promote the occurrence of Reproductive Interference. Reproductive Interference, also known as satyrisation, is defined as reproductive activity between individuals of different species, creating fitness costs for one or both participants. The associated fitness costs can often be asymmetrical between sex and species, impacting niche partitioning outcomes and producing a potential avenue for pest population control. I conducted a comprehensive literature review, to determine elements that could affect the presence and severity of satyrisation. This covered the mechanisms underpinning satyrisation, the relative fitness costs of these mechanisms and identifying other factors which could influence satyrisation. This review concluded with a theoretical approach to implementing satyrisation as part of a pest management scheme. To complement this, a series of experiments was then conducted on female age, a factor that could influence heterospecific mating interactions. In many insect species, male age is known to influence female mate choice, but less research examines how female age may affect mate choosiness. I conducted behavioural assays on female Drosophila melanogaster and D. mauritiana placed in heterospecific and conspecific crosses, over time, to determine whether the frequency of heterospecific reproductive interactions changed as the females aged. These experiments showed that differences in the frequency of mating behaviours were more strongly related to whether females were paired with conspecifically or heterospecifically rather than age itself. However, there was a large discrepancy in mortality rates between con- and heterospecific crosses, with females of both species surviving longer when paired heterospecifically. These findings were placed into a wider context and ideas for further study discussed, in a final concluding chapter. Overall, this thesis explored various determinants of Reproductive Interference, highlighting the diverse factors and outcomes of heterospecific interactions, and suggesting considerations of these processes in further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2024 14:56
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 07:36


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