Data from: Evolution of pre-copulatory and post-copulatory strategies of inbreeding avoidance and associated polyandry



Inbreeding depression is widely hypothesised to drive adaptive evolution of pre-copulatory and post-copulatory mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance, which in turn are hypothesised to affect evolution of polyandry (i.e., female multiple mating). However, surprisingly little theory or modelling critically examines selection for pre-copulatory or post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, or both strategies, given evolutionary constraints and direct costs, or examines how evolution of inbreeding avoidance strategies might feed back to affect evolution of polyandry. Selection for post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, but not for pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, requires polyandry, while interactions between pre-copulatory and post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance might cause functional redundancy (i.e., ‘degeneracy’) potentially generating complex evolutionary dynamics among inbreeding strategies and polyandry. We used individual-based modelling to quantify evolution of interacting pre-copulatory and post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance and associated polyandry given strong inbreeding depression and different evolutionary constraints and direct costs. We found that evolution of post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance increased selection for initially rare polyandry, and that evolution of a costly inbreeding avoidance strategy became negligible over time given a lower cost alternative strategy. Further, fixed pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance often completely precluded evolution of polyandry and hence post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, but fixed post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance did not preclude evolution of pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance. Evolution of inbreeding avoidance phenotypes and associated polyandry are therefore affected by evolutionary feedbacks and degeneracy. All else being equal, evolution of pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance and resulting low polyandry is more likely when post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance is precluded or costly, and evolution of post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance greatly facilitates evolution of costly polyandry.

Data type

This compressed directory contains the 45 files needed to compile the code underlying the paper and run all simulations. Parameter values for simulations are set in the PolyIn.c file, which outputs results in three separate TXT files. The output TXT files can be used in the analysis.R file to recreate all analyses and figures from the paper. This code is also publicly available, with additional documentation, on Brad Duthie's GitHub repository:

Copyright and Open Data Licencing

This work is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license.
Date made available2 Oct 2017
PublisherDryad Digital Repository


  • Inbreeding
  • Mate choice
  • relatedness
  • reproductive strategy

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