Browsing by Subject "MALE COMPETITION"

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  • Teerikorpi, Pauliina Elisabet; Sirkiä, Paivi Maria; Laaksonen, Toni (2018)
    Environmental shifts may induce sudden reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of mates (ecological crossovers) leading to non-directional sexual selection. Studies on such ecological crossovers induced by environmental shifts during the nonbreeding season are particularly rare. We studied the interactive effects between nonbreeding conditions and a male white wing patch on the breeding success of breeding pairs and the local survival of females in a migratory passerine population over a 32-year period. After dry winters, females paired with large-patched males were more likely to survive than those paired with small-patched males, and vice versa after moist winters. Moreover, after dry winters, large-patched males succeeded in attracting females that laid large clutches, while small-patched males bred with females that laid small clutches, and vice versa after moist winters. This phenomenon led to a difference in fledgling numbers only during years with dry winters and high precipitation during the breeding season. The selection on this male trait and its signaling value to females thus depended on a complex interaction between conditions both at the nonbreeding and breeding grounds. We show that it is important to consider conditions during the nonbreeding season when examining the effects of sexual ornaments on fitness.
  • Wong, Bob B. M.; Lehtonen, Topi K.; Lindström, Kai (2018)
    In many species, the natural distribution of material resources important for reproduction can profoundly impact reproductive success among individuals and, hence, the opportunity and intensity of sexual selection. Here, we report on a field-based experiment investigating the effects of nest aggregation on sexual selection in a fish, the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus. We found that the distribution of potential nests (sparse versus aggregated nest treatments) affected patterns of nest colonization and reproductive success. Specifically, in the treatment with aggregated nesting resources, a greater proportion of nests remained unoccupied by sand goby males. Although the size of nesting males did not differ between treatments, eggs accumulated more rapidly when nests were sparsely distributed. We found that the opportunity for selection decreased over time with the accumulation of eggs in the nests in both the aggregated and sparse treatments. Moreover, the effect of male size on reproductive success was influenced by an interaction between nest distribution and time, with the selection gradient being highest right after nest colonization when nests were aggregated, while the opposite pattern was observed in the sparse nest treatment. Such findings highlight the vital role that environmental and social factors can play in determining the importance of male phenotypic traits (in this case, male size). More broadly, our results also underscore how the natural distribution of resources, both in space and time, can impact the strength of sexual selection acting on wild animal populations.