DOI: 10.1007/s10144-014-0455-0

Reproductive interference in laboratory experiments of interspecific competition

1. Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Otsu, Shiga, Japan

Correspondence to:
Shigeki Kishi



Many studies that have researched interspecific competition in Callosobruchus (bean beetles), Drosophila (fruit flies), and Tribolium (flour beetles) have considered the major drivers of interspecific competition to be interspecific resource competition and intraguild cannibalism. These competition drivers have a density-dependent effect on the population dynamics. However, some studies have also detected a relative-frequency-dependent effect in the observed population dynamics. The most likely causal mechanism of this relative frequency dependence is reproductive interference, defined as any interspecific sexual interaction that damages female reproductive success. Reproductive interference has been overlooked by most laboratory studies in spite of the critical effect on the competition outcome. In this paper, I review laboratory studies of these insect genera from the perspective of reproductive interference and show that the reported results can be more reasonably interpreted by the joint action of reproductive interference and resource competition, including intraguild cannibalism. In addition, on the basis of results reported by a small number of related studies, I discuss the behavioral and evolutionary changes induced in those genera by reproductive interference.

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