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Relatedness, body size and paternity in the alpine newt, Triturus alpestris.


Garner, T W J; Schmidt, B R (2003). Relatedness, body size and paternity in the alpine newt, Triturus alpestris. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1515):619-624.

Abstract

Sexual selection has traditionally been investigated assuming that male quality is as skewed as patterns of male reproductive success can sometimes be. Recently, female choice has been investigated under the model of genetic compatibility, which assumes that each individual female has her own 'best' mate and there is no overall optimal choice for all females. We investigated female mate choice in the newt species Triturus alpestris, a member of a genus where female choice has been investigated only within the context of the optimal male (female choice for condition-dependent traits). We provided females with two males that differed in one condition-dependent trait (body size) and overall genetic composition. Both male body size and female body size did not influence paternity, but the degree of genetic relatedness between females and potential mates did. Two components of fitness (fecundity and hatching success) did not differ between singly and multiply sired clutches, indicating that females do not employ polyandry as a means of increasing offspring fitness through genetic bet-hedging. Instead, we hypothesize that females may mate initially for fertility assurance, but prefer less-related males as the most genetically compatible mates.

Sexual selection has traditionally been investigated assuming that male quality is as skewed as patterns of male reproductive success can sometimes be. Recently, female choice has been investigated under the model of genetic compatibility, which assumes that each individual female has her own 'best' mate and there is no overall optimal choice for all females. We investigated female mate choice in the newt species Triturus alpestris, a member of a genus where female choice has been investigated only within the context of the optimal male (female choice for condition-dependent traits). We provided females with two males that differed in one condition-dependent trait (body size) and overall genetic composition. Both male body size and female body size did not influence paternity, but the degree of genetic relatedness between females and potential mates did. Two components of fitness (fecundity and hatching success) did not differ between singly and multiply sired clutches, indicating that females do not employ polyandry as a means of increasing offspring fitness through genetic bet-hedging. Instead, we hypothesize that females may mate initially for fertility assurance, but prefer less-related males as the most genetically compatible mates.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:22 March 2003
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:10.1098/rspb.2002.2284
PubMed ID:12769462

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