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Relationships between vocalization characteristics and sperm traits in a neotropical treefrog


Aguiar, Pedro Lopes; Lüpold, Stefan; Nali, Renato Christensen (2023). Relationships between vocalization characteristics and sperm traits in a neotropical treefrog. Evolutionary Ecology, 37(5):797-813.

Abstract

Sexual selection can drive the evolution of any trait that enhances mating success and, when females mate with multiple males, competitive fertilization success. Sperm competition theory predicts a fundamental trade-off between traits under pre- and postmating sexual selection, respectively, when resources are limited. However, variation in male condition can result in differential total investment, generating a positive association between the same traits across males. Such a link could be used by females to infer male fertility based on the expression of male traits under premating sexual selection (phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis). Most studies examining these types of covariation focus on ornaments and armaments, but another widespread and costly trait category is acoustic signaling. In frogs, studies have examined sexual selection on either vocalization or sperm characteristics, but the link between them has been largely overlooked. Here, we examined the phenotypic covariation between multiple acoustic characteristics and testicular or sperm traits in the Brazilian treefrog Scinax crospedospilus. In multivariate analyses, we found the size of sperm heads and tails to covary positively or negatively with vocal traits, whilst sperm number increased with the call rate. By exploring beyond physical traits under premating or testis size under postmating sexual selection, our results revealed how males invest in different multivariate traits across episodes of selection to maximize their fitness. Including further traits is important considering the widespread use of other modes of costly sexual signaling and that multiple ejaculate traits may affect competitive fertilization success.

Abstract

Sexual selection can drive the evolution of any trait that enhances mating success and, when females mate with multiple males, competitive fertilization success. Sperm competition theory predicts a fundamental trade-off between traits under pre- and postmating sexual selection, respectively, when resources are limited. However, variation in male condition can result in differential total investment, generating a positive association between the same traits across males. Such a link could be used by females to infer male fertility based on the expression of male traits under premating sexual selection (phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis). Most studies examining these types of covariation focus on ornaments and armaments, but another widespread and costly trait category is acoustic signaling. In frogs, studies have examined sexual selection on either vocalization or sperm characteristics, but the link between them has been largely overlooked. Here, we examined the phenotypic covariation between multiple acoustic characteristics and testicular or sperm traits in the Brazilian treefrog Scinax crospedospilus. In multivariate analyses, we found the size of sperm heads and tails to covary positively or negatively with vocal traits, whilst sperm number increased with the call rate. By exploring beyond physical traits under premating or testis size under postmating sexual selection, our results revealed how males invest in different multivariate traits across episodes of selection to maximize their fitness. Including further traits is important considering the widespread use of other modes of costly sexual signaling and that multiple ejaculate traits may affect competitive fertilization success.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 October 2023
Deposited On:07 Feb 2024 13:21
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0269-7653
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10682-023-10249-1
Project Information:
  • : FunderSchweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_202662
  • : Project Title