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Sexually selected traits evolve positive allometry when some matings occur irrespective of the trait


Fromhage, Lutz; Kokko, Hanna (2014). Sexually selected traits evolve positive allometry when some matings occur irrespective of the trait. Evolution, 68(5):1332-1338.

Abstract

Positive allometry of secondary sexual traits (whereby larger individuals have disproportionally larger traits than smaller individuals) has been called one of the most pervasive and poorly understood regularities in the study of animal form and function. Its widespread occurrence is in contrast with theoretical predictions that it should evolve only under rather special circumstances. Using a combination of mathematical modeling and simulations, here we show that positive allometry is predicted to evolve under much broader conditions than previously recognized. This result hinges on the assumption that mating success is not necessarily zero for males with the lowest trait values: for example, a male who lacks horns or antlers might still be able to copulate if encountering an unguarded female. We predict the strongest positive allometry when males typically (but not always) compete in large groups, and when trait differences decisively determine the outcome of competitive interactions.

Abstract

Positive allometry of secondary sexual traits (whereby larger individuals have disproportionally larger traits than smaller individuals) has been called one of the most pervasive and poorly understood regularities in the study of animal form and function. Its widespread occurrence is in contrast with theoretical predictions that it should evolve only under rather special circumstances. Using a combination of mathematical modeling and simulations, here we show that positive allometry is predicted to evolve under much broader conditions than previously recognized. This result hinges on the assumption that mating success is not necessarily zero for males with the lowest trait values: for example, a male who lacks horns or antlers might still be able to copulate if encountering an unguarded female. We predict the strongest positive allometry when males typically (but not always) compete in large groups, and when trait differences decisively determine the outcome of competitive interactions.

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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)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:1 May 2014
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 16:13
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0014-3820
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12349

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