/ Pros and Cons / 9 Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction

9 Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction

navajocodetalkersadmin on June 11, 2015 - 4:54 pm in Pros and Cons

Asexual reproduction is one type of reproducing that only requires one organism and no form of sexual intercourse. The offspring born from this type of reproduction is referred to as a “clone” of the parent organism even though the two may not be identical in looks or genetics. This is because with asexual reproduction genetic mutations commonly occur. There is a wide variety of benefits that come from organisms who produce asexually, but a pretty heft list of draw backs as well. Some of the most common organisms that reproduce asexually are fungi, bacteria, and many different types of worms. Let’s take a close look at both sides of asexual reproduction.

The Advantages of Asexual Reproduction

1. Requires Less Energy
There is a large amount of energy that is necessary to reproduce sexually. It is more complex because it involves the mixing of two different sets of genes. Asexual reproduction, however, only involves one set of genes to be transferred. This requires much less energy and is therefore more efficient.

2. They Do Not Need To Find A Mate
Another huge benefit of asexual reproduction is the simple fact that a mate is not necessary. The search for a mate, as well as the act of creating offspring is completely bypassed. These types of organisms can sustain their population much easier.

3. The Population Can Expand Rapidly
Organisms that reproduce asexually normally have a large amount of offspring at once. This allows them to boost the numbers of their population, and ensure the safety of their group. This is extremely beneficial for any organisms that are at great risk.

4. A Defense Mechanism
Often times, small organisms fall prey to larger animals. For this reason, asexual reproduction is ideal. The parent can give birth to a huge amount of offspring, and since it takes much less time and energy, they can reproduce much more often.

5. Works Best For Animals That Stay In One Place
Asexual reproduction is most common in animals or organisms that remain in one place for their entire life. This is because they do not have to venture off to go find a mate, thus leaving their home habitat. Instead they are able to remain stationary and still reproduce.

The Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction

1. An Extreme Lack Of Diversity
The biggest flaw with asexual reproduction is the is the simple fact that only one set of genes are passed on to the offspring. This leads to a huge lack of diversity in the population. All of the offspring look pretty much alike, which is just like their parent. This trend continues as those offspring reproduce and so on.

2. Inability To Adapt
Since their is such little diversity, the organisms ability to adapt to changes in the environment are very limited. This makes them very prone to extinction because once a predator or parasite evolves to kill just one of them, they have the ability to kill them all.

3. Overcrowding
Because so many offspring are produced at one time, the probability of over crowding in the population is very real. When there are too many organisms in a habitat, then the entire population is put at risk of starvation. This also makes the group a larger target for prey.

4. DNA Mutation Is The Only Chance
Animals evolve in order to better fit the ever changing environment that they live in. With asexual reproduction, the chances of evolving are much lower and the process is infinitely slower. This is because since there is only one set of DNA being passed on to all of the offspring it will remain identical. All of the weaknesses and strengths will be the same in all offspring. The only way that evolution can occur is through the chance that a gene in the DNA may mutate.

Important Facts About Asexual Reproduction

  • Strawberries is one example of vegetation that reproduces asexually.
  • In fact, almost all plants reproduce this way.
  • Copperhead snakes also reproduce asexually.
  • All bacteria practices asexual reproduction.
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