Asexual Reproduction - Its Prevalence and Significance
Having studied the several aspects of asexual reproduction in the non-chordates we can now make a few generalizations.
A. Prevalence of asexual reproduction
1. Asexual reproduction is far much more prevalent in the lower animal phyla than in the higher ones.
2. Asexual reproduction is largely related with the regenerative capacity.
3. Lower animals along with comparatively less differentiated cells and tissues possess higher regenerative power than the higher animals and thus contribute to asexual reproduction.
4. In higher animals regenerative capacity in largely restricted to organ replacement (In chordates it is even less and is limited to tissue regeneration).
B. Importance of asexual reproduction asexual reproduction is advantageous to the species in several ways:
1. Asexual mode of reproduction is a surer method of reproduction; it generally does not involve chance or risk factors which are usually inherent in the sexual method.
2. Asexual reproduction, particularly by fission and budding, is a method of rapid increase in numbers and thus leads to a faster growth of population.
3. Animals reproducing asexually are capable to take maximum advantage of favorable environment by rapid multiplication.
4. Asexual reproduction by creation of gemmules in specific sponges is a means to tide over unfavorable conditions.