Over the past decade a proliferation of research has enriched and dramatically altered our understanding of the biology of figs, their pollinator wasps, and the myriad of other organisms that depend on them. Ecologically, this work underscores the crucial role that fig fruits play in sustaining and shaping tropical frugivore communities. More generally, this work addresses several key issues in evolutionary ecology, including evolution of breeding systems (shifts between monoecy and dioecy), factors that promote the stability of mutualisms, precision of adaptation, and trajectories of community assembly and coevolution in systems with multiple interacting partners. Moreover, both the pollinating and nonpollinating wasps associated with figs provide unparalleled opportunities for examining how different population structures can differentially affect sex allocation, kin selection, the evolution of parasite virulence, and many fundamental parameters of population genetics (e.g., levels of genetic variation and rates of silent and nonsilent base substitutions).


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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