Female mating competition alters female mating preferences in common gobies

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/239092

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Heubel , K 2018 , ' Female mating competition alters female mating preferences in common gobies ' , Current zoology , vol. 64 , no. 3 , pp. 351-361 . https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoy024

Title: Female mating competition alters female mating preferences in common gobies
Author: Heubel, Katja
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Tvärminne Zoological Station
Date: 2018-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Current zoology
ISSN: 1674-5507
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/239092
Abstract: Mating decisions can be affected by intrasexual competition and sensitive to operational sex-ratio (OSR) changes in the population. Conceptually, it is assumed that both male and female mate-competition may interfere with female reproductive decisions. Experimentally, however, the focus has been on the effect of male competition on mate choice. In many species with paternal care as in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, the OSR is often female-biased and female mate-competition for access to available nesting males occurs. Using the same protocol for 3 experiments testing the effect of a perceived risk of female mate-competition, I studied female preferences for nest-holding males differing in its nest size (large/small), body size (large/small), and nest status (with/without eggs already in nest) and measured mating decisions, spawning latencies, and clutch size. Regardless of the social context, females preferred males with larger nests. A preference for large males was only expressed in presence of additional females. For nest status, there was a tendency for females to prefer mating with males with an empty nest. Here, female-female competition increased the propensity to mate. The results of this study show that females are sensitive to a female competitive social environment and suggest that in choice situations, females respond to the social context mainly by mating decisions per se rather than by adjusting the clutch size or spawning latency. Females base their mating decisions not only on a male's nest size but also on male size as an additional cue of mate quality in the presence of additional females.
Subject: audience effect
intrasexual competition
mate sampling
parental care
Pomatoschistus microps
sex-roles
size
OPERATIONAL SEX-RATIO
GOBY POMATOSCHISTUS-MICROPS
MATE CHOICE
SAND GOBY
FILIAL CANNIBALISM
PATERNAL CARE
NEST SIZE
STICKLEBACKS PREFER
PARENTAL INVESTMENT
PIMEPHALES-PROMELAS
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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