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Explanations for answers to Epiactis self-fertile quiz.

Fertilisation is a certainty.  Yes.  This can be especially advantageous in situations of low population densities and in harsh conditions such as the intertidal zone where cross-fertilisation may be difficult or impossible.

Favours greater survival.  Yes.  Because the offspring carry the same genetic makeup as the parent, they are predisposed to live in the same habitat as the parent.

Evolutionary success of the species is increased.  No, quite the opposite, as self-fertilisation prevents gene flow and may lead to the  expression of recessive genes.  The development of diverse genotypes through cross-fertilisation and mutation lead to increased evolutionary potential to colonise new habitats.

Allows colonisation of locally available patches in the habitat.  Yes.  This goes along with the first two points.  Widely dispersed individuals (i.e., out of cross-fertilisation “range”) can take advantage of free space that appears in the habitat.


NOTE areas in otherwise crowded habitats that suddenly become free of attached organisms, often by storms and log-battering, or by actions of predators that eat an area free of prey

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