Article

The Indirect Benefits of Mating with Attractive Males Outweigh the Direct Costs

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. <>
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 11.77). 03/2005; 3(2):e33. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The fitness consequences of mate choice are a source of ongoing debate in evolutionary biology. Recent theory predicts that indirect benefits of female choice due to offspring inheriting superior genes are likely to be negated when there are direct costs associated with choice, including any costs of mating with attractive males. To estimate the fitness consequences of mating with males of varying attractiveness, we housed female house crickets, Acheta domesticus, with either attractive or unattractive males and measured a variety of direct and indirect fitness components. These fitness components were combined to give relative estimates of the number of grandchildren produced and the intrinsic rate of increase (relative net fitness). We found that females mated to attractive males incur a substantial survival cost. However, these costs are cancelled out and may be outweighed by the benefits of having offspring with elevated fitness. This benefit is due predominantly, but not exclusively, to the effect of an increase in sons' attractiveness. Our results suggest that the direct costs that females experience when mating with attractive males can be outweighed by indirect benefits. They also reveal the value of estimating the net fitness consequences of a mating strategy by including measures of offspring quality in estimates of fitness.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Robert C Brooks, Aug 28, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
122 Views
  • Source
    • "Latency to mating and male mating success was considered as female preference measures (Narraway et al., 2010). These measures are for all traits that confer attractiveness to a mate (Head et al., 2005). As genetic quality can affect mating success by its effect on general activity of males (Whitlock & Agrawal, 2009), we measured different aspects of mating behavior which include activity of males: courtship occurrence, courtship latency, latency to mating and duration of mating. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: According to current theoretical predictions, any deleterious mutations that reduce nonsexual fitness, may have a negative influence on mating success. This means that sexual selection may remove deleterious mutations from the populations. Males of good genetic quality should be more successful in mating, compared to the males of lower genetic quality. As mating success is a condition dependent trait, large fractions of the genome may be a target of sexual selection and many behavioral traits are likely to be condition dependent. We manipulated the genetic quality of Drosophila subobscura males by inducing mutations with ionizing radiation and observed the effects of the obtained heterozygous mutations on male mating behavior: courtship occurrence, courtship latency, mating occurrence, latency to mating and duration of mating. We found possible effects of mutations. Females mated more frequently with male progeny of non-irradiated males and that these males courted females faster compared to the male progeny of irradiated males. Our findings indicate a possible important role of sexual selection in purging deleterious mutations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Insect Science 07/2015; DOI:10.1111/1744-7917.12257 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The possible adaptive significance for females of mating with multiple males remains a topic of debate (Uller & Olsson, 2008; Madsen, 2011; Keogh et al., 2013; Noble, Keogh & Whiting, 2013). Females may mate with multiple males to acquire material and/or genetic benefits (Jennions & Petrie, 2000; Head et al., 2005; Slatyer et al., 2011). There is little evidence that the acquisition of material benefits explains multiple mating by female collared lizards because the resources that they require to produce eggs (foraging perches, arthropod prey, refuges) are not limiting in our population, and neither sex provides parental care (Baird & Sloan, 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We tested whether territorial defence is adaptive in male collared lizards by examining the extent to which territory owners monopolize females. We also tested whether females benefit by mating with multiple males using alternative tactics when local sex ratios varied. Surprisingly, neither the number of offspring that males sired, nor the number of females that males mated with varied as a consequence of highly variable local sex ratios. Moreover, both the number of offspring sired and the number of female mates were independent of male social status. Courtship frequency was under positive directional sexual selection for mating success for territorial males. None of the phenotypic traits that we examined were targets of sexual selection in nonterritorial males. Although offspring survivorship decreased with the degree of multiple mating, females mated multiply with similar numbers of territorial and nonterritorial males during all three seasons. Females did not obtain material or genetic benefits that balanced the apparent offspring survival cost imposed by mating with multiple males. Instead, females appeared to be ‘making the best of a bad job’, perhaps because the abundance of hiding places used by subordinate males makes it difficult for females to avoid male harassment. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2015, ●●, ●●–●●.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 04/2015; 115(2). DOI:10.1111/bij.12514 · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The possible adaptive significance for females of mating with multiple males remains a topic of debate (Uller & Olsson, 2008; Madsen, 2011; Keogh et al., 2013; Noble, Keogh & Whiting, 2013). Females may mate with multiple males to acquire material and/or genetic benefits (Jennions & Petrie, 2000; Head et al., 2005; Slatyer et al., 2011). There is little evidence that the acquisition of material benefits explains multiple mating by female collared lizards because the resources that they require to produce eggs (foraging perches, arthropod prey, refuges) are not limiting in our population, and neither sex provides parental care (Baird & Sloan, 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We tested whether territorial defence is adaptive in male collared lizards by examining the extent to which territory owners monopolize females. We also tested whether females benefit by mating with multiple males using alternative tactics when local sex ratios varied. Surprisingly, neither the number of offspring that males sired, nor the number of females that males mated with varied as a consequence of highly variable local sex ratios. Moreover, both the number of offspring sired and the number of female mates were independent of male social status. Courtship frequency was under positive directional sexual selection for mating success for territorial males. None of the phenotypic traits that we examined were targets of sexual selection in nonterritorial males. Although offspring survivorship decreased with the degree of multiple mating, females mated multiply with similar numbers of territorial and nonterritorial males during all three seasons. Females did not obtain material or genetic benefits that balanced the apparent offspring survival cost imposed by mating with multiple males. Instead, females appeared to be 'making the best of a bad job', perhaps because the abundance of hiding places used by subordinate males makes it difficult for females to avoid male harassment.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 03/2015; · 2.54 Impact Factor
Show more