Reproductive strategies in hermaphroditic gastropods: conceptual and empirical approaches

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An individual optimizes its reproductive success by adopting a particular reproductive strategy. Studying the details of a reproductive strategy leads to an understanding of how sexual selection acts, as the former is the process via which the individual reproduces successfully. Hermaphroditic gastropods display a bewildering diversity of reproductive strategies, which may be due to their mode of gender expression, when compared with well-studied separate-sexed species. Extensive theoretical, observational, and experimental research has been conducted on this topic. However, despite our knowledge about the repro- ductive system of hermaphroditic gastropods, we still need to fill the gap between pre- and post-copulatory processes and reproductive success. Here, we review and propose conceptual and empirical approaches aimed at understanding reproductive strategies of hermaphroditic gastropods. In sum, our suggestions are (i) to focus on sex-biased traits, (ii) to take biologically reliable measurements at both the pre- and post-copulatory level that relate to reproductive success, and (iii) to examine the fitness consequences of biased sex allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number6
Early online date25 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Hermaphrodite
  • Paternity longevity
  • Reproduction
  • Sex allocation
  • Sexual selection
  • Sperm competition
  • Sperm storage


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