Ecology sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems

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Sexual conflict occurs whenever there is sexually antagonistic selection on shared traits. When shared traits result from interactions e. Male traits can be favored that increase the fitness of their male bearers, but decrease the fitness of interacting females.

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Our research concerns the interface between evolution and ecology, particularly in reptiles snakes and lizards. In recent years, our work has increasingly shifted to focus on major issues in conservation - especially the biology, impact and control of invasive species such as the cane toad. Rick Shine has worked extensively on evolutionary transitions in life-history traits and on sexually-selected traits.

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Alternative mating tactics appear to evolve when sexual selection is strong. Because such conditions are usually observed in species with polygynous or polyandrous mating systems, alternative mating tactics in monogamous mating systems are seldom documented and are poorly understood. We found that: 1 the average fitnesses of males and females within each population were identical when adjusted by the sex ratio; 2 the variance in fitness in male and female prairie voles was comparable to that of highly polygynous species; 3 The average fitnesses of male tactics, and of female tactics, were equivalent within and among years within each location; 4 consistent with negative frequency-dependent selection acting on mating phenotypes, the between-tactic variance in fitness for male and female mating tactics decreased with increasing study duration; 5 consistent with negative assortative mating, resident males, and wanderer females produced offspring primarily in monogamous partnerships, whereas wanderer males and resident females produced offspring primarily in polygamous partnerships.

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Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs.

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Despite the common assumption that multiple mating should in general be favored in males, but not in females, to date there is no consensus on the general impact of multiple mating on female fitness. Notably, very little is known about the genetic and physiological features underlying the female response to sexual selection pressures. By combining an experimental evolution approach with genomic techniques, we investigated the effects of single and multiple matings on female fecundity and gene expression.

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My research concerns the natural selection of social behavior. Emphasizing quantitative and experimental approaches in the study of natural populations, I am interested in sexual selection, the economy and evolution of mating systems, spatial dispersion, and communication. I am currently conducting a field and laboratory investigation of sexual selection in a group of passerine birds in Australia, the fairy-wrens.

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Skip to search form Skip to main content. Ecology, sexual selection, and the evolution of mating systems. Emlen and Lewis W.

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Dec 3. Posted by tomhouslay. The previous posts from our discussions on classic mating systems papers have shown how both empirical work and theory advanced knowledge of sex differences in the returns from relative investment in reproduction. Fitness is a measure of the reproductive success of an individual or genotype relative to other individuals or genotypes in the same or other populations, and so we must consider selection to be operating at the level of the individual.

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Please take this quick survey to tell us about what happens after you publish a paper. Ecological Research. The size and spatial distribution of home ranges in two sympatric field mouse species, Apodemus speciosus and Apodemus argenteuswere revealed by the capture-recapture method in a temperate deciduous forest from June to June

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Mating system theory, based on economics of territorial defense, has been applied to describe the diversity in social systems across taxa. Mating systems play a critical role in genetic, demographic, and social dynamics of populations. Early models explaining mating system diversity emphasized links between resource and mate monopolization.

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