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Female choice for males with greater fertilization success in the Swedish Moor frog, Rana arvalis.

Sherman CD, Sagvik J, Olsson M - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: Females' showed no significant preference for male size (13 small and six large male preferences) but associated preferentially with the male that subsequently was the most successful at fertilizing her eggs in isolation.Our results show that females show no preference for male size but are still able to choose males which have greater fertilization success.These results could be explained through pre- and/or postcopulatory choice for genetic benefits and suggest that females are able to perceive the genetic quality of males, possibly basing their choice on multiple phenotypic male traits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, Australia. craig.sherman@deakin.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies of mate choice in anuran amphibians have shown female preference for a wide range of male traits despite females gaining no direct resources from males (i.e. non-resource based mating system). Nevertheless, theoretical and empirical studies have shown that females may still gain indirect genetic benefits from choosing males of higher genetic quality and thereby increase their reproductive success.

Methodology/principal findings: We investigated two components of sexual selection in the Moor frog (Rana arvalis), pre-copulatory female choice between two males of different size ('large' vs. 'small'), and their fertilization success in sperm competition and in isolation. Females' showed no significant preference for male size (13 small and six large male preferences) but associated preferentially with the male that subsequently was the most successful at fertilizing her eggs in isolation. Siring success of males in competitive fertilizations was unrelated to genetic similarity with the female and we detected no effect of sperm viability on fertilization success. There was, however, a strong positive association between a male's innate fertilization ability with a female and his siring success in sperm competition. We also detected a strong negative effect of a male's thumb length on his competitive siring success.

Conclusions/significance: Our results show that females show no preference for male size but are still able to choose males which have greater fertilization success. Genetic similarity and differences in the proportion of viable sperm within a males ejaculate do not appear to affect siring success. These results could be explained through pre- and/or postcopulatory choice for genetic benefits and suggest that females are able to perceive the genetic quality of males, possibly basing their choice on multiple phenotypic male traits.

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Relationship between thumb length and snout-vent length.
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pone-0013634-g003: Relationship between thumb length and snout-vent length.

Mentions: Sperm viability was relatively high across males with on average 91% (±1% SE) sperm within males ejaculates viable. The proportion of live sperm was uncorrelated with male morphological traits (P>0.30 for all traits). Thumb length showed a significant non-linear relationship with male snout-vent length, tapering off with increasing male body length (and age). Fitting the quadratic equation thumb length  = −142.8+5.6 (svl) - 0.053 (svl)2 increases R2 from 0.19 to 0.34 compared to a linear relationship (polynomial F2, 27  = 7.0, P = 0.004; Figure 3).


Female choice for males with greater fertilization success in the Swedish Moor frog, Rana arvalis.

Sherman CD, Sagvik J, Olsson M - PLoS ONE (2010)

Relationship between thumb length and snout-vent length.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2964304&req=5

pone-0013634-g003: Relationship between thumb length and snout-vent length.
Mentions: Sperm viability was relatively high across males with on average 91% (±1% SE) sperm within males ejaculates viable. The proportion of live sperm was uncorrelated with male morphological traits (P>0.30 for all traits). Thumb length showed a significant non-linear relationship with male snout-vent length, tapering off with increasing male body length (and age). Fitting the quadratic equation thumb length  = −142.8+5.6 (svl) - 0.053 (svl)2 increases R2 from 0.19 to 0.34 compared to a linear relationship (polynomial F2, 27  = 7.0, P = 0.004; Figure 3).

Bottom Line: Females' showed no significant preference for male size (13 small and six large male preferences) but associated preferentially with the male that subsequently was the most successful at fertilizing her eggs in isolation.Our results show that females show no preference for male size but are still able to choose males which have greater fertilization success.These results could be explained through pre- and/or postcopulatory choice for genetic benefits and suggest that females are able to perceive the genetic quality of males, possibly basing their choice on multiple phenotypic male traits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, Australia. craig.sherman@deakin.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies of mate choice in anuran amphibians have shown female preference for a wide range of male traits despite females gaining no direct resources from males (i.e. non-resource based mating system). Nevertheless, theoretical and empirical studies have shown that females may still gain indirect genetic benefits from choosing males of higher genetic quality and thereby increase their reproductive success.

Methodology/principal findings: We investigated two components of sexual selection in the Moor frog (Rana arvalis), pre-copulatory female choice between two males of different size ('large' vs. 'small'), and their fertilization success in sperm competition and in isolation. Females' showed no significant preference for male size (13 small and six large male preferences) but associated preferentially with the male that subsequently was the most successful at fertilizing her eggs in isolation. Siring success of males in competitive fertilizations was unrelated to genetic similarity with the female and we detected no effect of sperm viability on fertilization success. There was, however, a strong positive association between a male's innate fertilization ability with a female and his siring success in sperm competition. We also detected a strong negative effect of a male's thumb length on his competitive siring success.

Conclusions/significance: Our results show that females show no preference for male size but are still able to choose males which have greater fertilization success. Genetic similarity and differences in the proportion of viable sperm within a males ejaculate do not appear to affect siring success. These results could be explained through pre- and/or postcopulatory choice for genetic benefits and suggest that females are able to perceive the genetic quality of males, possibly basing their choice on multiple phenotypic male traits.

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