Long-term data sets that quantitatively confirm basic ecological theory are rare for field populations. Highly variable recruitment often causes wide temporal variation in population age distribution and basic theory for adaptive sex ratio often predicts ‘sex ratio tracking’ to match the fluctuating age distribution. Using sex-changing shrimp as a model system, we test this in a new data set of 20 years duration. The new data support the theory, despite intense fishery exploitation that itself has greatly altered the age distribution in recent years.
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