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Heritability of three condition surrogates in the yellow dung fly


Blanckenhorn, W U; Hosken, David J (2003). Heritability of three condition surrogates in the yellow dung fly. Behavioral Ecology, 14(5):612-618.

Abstract

Condition capture has been proposed as a general mechanism maintaining additive genetic variation, Va, in sexually selected traits under directional selection. It relies on two main assumptions: condition-dependent trait expression and Va in condition. Although there is evidence for the former, direct evidence that condition is heritable is scarce, although this is a requirement of most models of handicap sexual selection. We used a parent-offspring, full-sib, two-container laboratory breeding design in the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria to demonstrate the broad- and narrow-sense heritability of three surrogates of condition commonly used in sexual selection studies: lipid and glycogen reserves (i.e., physiological condition), body size, and fluctuating asymmetry. All three measures are nutrition dependent and have been linked to sexual selection in free-living yellow dung flies. While lipid reserves and body size were heritable, asymmetry and glycogen reserves were not. Moreover, the evolvability of physiological condition was higher than that of the other two traits. Of the three surrogates, physiological condition is most akin to the original definition, but all have their limitations. We conclude that condition is a useful heuristic concept in evolutionary ecology, but its practical value may be limited by the fact that it cannot be measured directly

Abstract

Condition capture has been proposed as a general mechanism maintaining additive genetic variation, Va, in sexually selected traits under directional selection. It relies on two main assumptions: condition-dependent trait expression and Va in condition. Although there is evidence for the former, direct evidence that condition is heritable is scarce, although this is a requirement of most models of handicap sexual selection. We used a parent-offspring, full-sib, two-container laboratory breeding design in the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria to demonstrate the broad- and narrow-sense heritability of three surrogates of condition commonly used in sexual selection studies: lipid and glycogen reserves (i.e., physiological condition), body size, and fluctuating asymmetry. All three measures are nutrition dependent and have been linked to sexual selection in free-living yellow dung flies. While lipid reserves and body size were heritable, asymmetry and glycogen reserves were not. Moreover, the evolvability of physiological condition was higher than that of the other two traits. Of the three surrogates, physiological condition is most akin to the original definition, but all have their limitations. We conclude that condition is a useful heuristic concept in evolutionary ecology, but its practical value may be limited by the fact that it cannot be measured directly

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Language:English
Date:1 September 2003
Deposited On:10 Oct 2018 11:06
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:49
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1045-2249
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arg052

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