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Sexual selection when fertilization is not guaranteed

Kokko, Hanna; Mappes, Johanna

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Much of the theory of sexual selection assumes that females do not generally experience difficulties getting their eggs fertilized, yet sperm limitation is occasionally documented. How often does male limitation form a selection for female traits that improve their mating rate? The question is difficult to test, because if such traits evolve to be efficient, sperm limitation will no longer appear to be a problem to females. Here, we suggest that changes in choosiness between populations, and in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorKokko, Hanna
dc.contributor.authorMappes, Johanna
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:54:34Z
dc.identifier.issn0014-3820
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/82160
dc.description.abstractMuch of the theory of sexual selection assumes that females do not generally experience difficulties getting their eggs fertilized, yet sperm limitation is occasionally documented. How often does male limitation form a selection for female traits that improve their mating rate? The question is difficult to test, because if such traits evolve to be efficient, sperm limitation will no longer appear to be a problem to females. Here, we suggest that changes in choosiness between populations, and in particular between virgin and mated females, offer an efficient way to test this hypothesis. We model the "wallflower effect," that is, changes in female preferences due to time and mortality costs of remaining unmated (for at least some time). We show that these costs cause adaptive reductions of female choice, even if mate encounter rates appear high and females only rarely end their lives unfertilized. We also consider the population consequences of plastic or fixed mate preferences at different mate encounter rates. If mate choice is plastic, we confirm earlier verbal models that virgins should mate relatively indiscriminately, but plastic increase of choosiness in later matings can compensate and intensify sexual selection on the male trait, particularly if there is last male sperm precedence. Plastic populations will cope well with unusual conditions: eagerness of virgins leads to high reproductive output and a relaxation of sexual selection at low population densities. If females lack such plasticity, however, population-wide reproductive output may be severely reduced, whereas sexual selection on male traits remains strong.
dc.publisherSociety for the Study of Evolution
dc.sourceEvolution
dc.subjectKeywords: evolutionary theory; mate choice; phenotypic plasticity; sexual selection; animal; article; comparative study; computer simulation; female; genetic selection; genetics; male; physiology; population density; population genetics; reproduction; sex differenc Female choice; Multiple mating; Phenotypic plasticity; Population consequences of sexual selection; Sequential mate choice; Sexual selection; Sperm limitation; Virgins
dc.titleSexual selection when fertilization is not guaranteed
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume59
dc.date.issued2005
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub10443
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationKokko, Hanna, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMappes, Johanna, University of Jyvaskyla
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue9
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1876
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1885
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T11:05:02Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-25644456111
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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