Limits...
Direct selection on male attractiveness and female preference fails to produce a response.

Hall M, Lindholm AK, Brooks R - BMC Evol. Biol. (2004)

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, neither female mate choice nor male attractiveness responded significantly to direct or to indirect selection.Fecundity did differ significantly among lines in a way that suggests a possible sexually-antagonistic cost to male attractiveness.We discuss a number of factors that may have constrained the response of female choice and male attractiveness to selection, including low heritabilities, low levels of genetic (co)variation in the multivariate direction of selection, sexually-antagonistic constraint on sexual selection and the "environmental covariance hypothesis".

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW, 2052, Australia. matte_hall@yahoo.com.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Theoretical studies suggest that direct and indirect selection have the potential to cause substantial evolutionary change in female mate choice. Similarly, sexual selection is considered a strong force in the evolution of male attractiveness and the exaggeration of secondary sexual traits. Few studies have, however, directly tested how female mate choice and male attractiveness respond to selection. Here we report the results of a selection experiment in which we selected directly on female mating preference for attractive males and, independently, on male attractiveness in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. We measured the direct and correlated responses of female mate choice and male attractiveness to selection and the correlated responses of male ornamental traits, female fecundity and adult male and female survival.

Results: Surprisingly, neither female mate choice nor male attractiveness responded significantly to direct or to indirect selection. Fecundity did differ significantly among lines in a way that suggests a possible sexually-antagonistic cost to male attractiveness.

Conclusions: The opportunity for evolutionary change in female mate choice and male attractiveness may be much smaller than predicted by current theory, and may thus have important consequences for how we understand the evolution of female mate choice and male attractiveness. We discuss a number of factors that may have constrained the response of female choice and male attractiveness to selection, including low heritabilities, low levels of genetic (co)variation in the multivariate direction of selection, sexually-antagonistic constraint on sexual selection and the "environmental covariance hypothesis".

Show MeSH
The choice tank used in measuring male attractiveness and female preference. Brown paper covered the side and back walls (bold line). Brown river sand covered the floor of tank. Scored glass separated (solid line) the five small compartments. Transparent glass (dotted line) separated the large and small compartments. Tank dimensions: 30 by 20 cm.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC319700&req=5

Figure 1: The choice tank used in measuring male attractiveness and female preference. Brown paper covered the side and back walls (bold line). Brown river sand covered the floor of tank. Scored glass separated (solid line) the five small compartments. Transparent glass (dotted line) separated the large and small compartments. Tank dimensions: 30 by 20 cm.

Mentions: We measured male attractiveness and female mate choice in behavioural trials in partitioned-aquaria (Figure 1). We placed one male into each of the five small compartments, and a naive virgin focal female into the large compartment from where she could observe the five males. In the first generation of selection we randomly assigned one sixth of all males to the PR line, one sixth to the CO line, and one third to each of the AT and UN lines. Selection was applied (if at all) only to the individuals that had been assigned to the appropriate line. In the second and third generations, each choice tank contained one male from each line plus either an extra AT or UN male.


Direct selection on male attractiveness and female preference fails to produce a response.

Hall M, Lindholm AK, Brooks R - BMC Evol. Biol. (2004)

The choice tank used in measuring male attractiveness and female preference. Brown paper covered the side and back walls (bold line). Brown river sand covered the floor of tank. Scored glass separated (solid line) the five small compartments. Transparent glass (dotted line) separated the large and small compartments. Tank dimensions: 30 by 20 cm.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC319700&req=5

Figure 1: The choice tank used in measuring male attractiveness and female preference. Brown paper covered the side and back walls (bold line). Brown river sand covered the floor of tank. Scored glass separated (solid line) the five small compartments. Transparent glass (dotted line) separated the large and small compartments. Tank dimensions: 30 by 20 cm.
Mentions: We measured male attractiveness and female mate choice in behavioural trials in partitioned-aquaria (Figure 1). We placed one male into each of the five small compartments, and a naive virgin focal female into the large compartment from where she could observe the five males. In the first generation of selection we randomly assigned one sixth of all males to the PR line, one sixth to the CO line, and one third to each of the AT and UN lines. Selection was applied (if at all) only to the individuals that had been assigned to the appropriate line. In the second and third generations, each choice tank contained one male from each line plus either an extra AT or UN male.

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, neither female mate choice nor male attractiveness responded significantly to direct or to indirect selection.Fecundity did differ significantly among lines in a way that suggests a possible sexually-antagonistic cost to male attractiveness.We discuss a number of factors that may have constrained the response of female choice and male attractiveness to selection, including low heritabilities, low levels of genetic (co)variation in the multivariate direction of selection, sexually-antagonistic constraint on sexual selection and the "environmental covariance hypothesis".

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW, 2052, Australia. matte_hall@yahoo.com.au

ABSTRACT

Background: Theoretical studies suggest that direct and indirect selection have the potential to cause substantial evolutionary change in female mate choice. Similarly, sexual selection is considered a strong force in the evolution of male attractiveness and the exaggeration of secondary sexual traits. Few studies have, however, directly tested how female mate choice and male attractiveness respond to selection. Here we report the results of a selection experiment in which we selected directly on female mating preference for attractive males and, independently, on male attractiveness in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. We measured the direct and correlated responses of female mate choice and male attractiveness to selection and the correlated responses of male ornamental traits, female fecundity and adult male and female survival.

Results: Surprisingly, neither female mate choice nor male attractiveness responded significantly to direct or to indirect selection. Fecundity did differ significantly among lines in a way that suggests a possible sexually-antagonistic cost to male attractiveness.

Conclusions: The opportunity for evolutionary change in female mate choice and male attractiveness may be much smaller than predicted by current theory, and may thus have important consequences for how we understand the evolution of female mate choice and male attractiveness. We discuss a number of factors that may have constrained the response of female choice and male attractiveness to selection, including low heritabilities, low levels of genetic (co)variation in the multivariate direction of selection, sexually-antagonistic constraint on sexual selection and the "environmental covariance hypothesis".

Show MeSH