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Effects of polyandry on male phenotypic diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Polyandry has the potential to affect the distribution of phenotypes and to shape the direction of sexual selection. Here, we explore this potential using Trinidadian guppies as a model system and ask whether polyandry leads to directional and/or diversifying selection of male phenotypic traits. In this study, we compare the phenotypic diversity of offspring from multiply and singly sired broods. To quantify phenotypic diversity, we first combine phenotypic traits using multivariate methods, and then take the dispersion of individuals in multivariate space as our measure of diversity. We show that, when each trait is examined separately, polyandry generates offspring with a higher proportion of bright coloration, indicating directional selection. However, our multivariate approach reveals that this directionality is accompanied by an increase in phenotypic diversity. These results suggest that polyandry (i) selects for the production of sons with the preferred brighter colour phenotypes whereas (ii) enhancing the diversity of male sexual traits. Promoting phenotypic diversity may be advantageous in coping with environmental and reproductive variability by increasing long-term fitness.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2442-2452
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

    Research areas

  • evolution, phenotypic diversity, sexual selection, sexual traits, GUPPY POECILIA-RETICULATA, POSTCOPULATORY SEXUAL SELECTION, FEMALE MATING PREFERENCES, MATE-CHOICE, SPERM COMPETITION, GENETIC BENEFITS, COLOR PATTERNS, OFFSPRING SIZE, EVOLUTION, POPULATION

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