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Sexual responsiveness is condition-dependent in female guppies, but preference functions are not.

Syriatowicz A, Brooks R - BMC Ecol. (2004)

Bottom Line: We manipulated food intake of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), and examined the effect on several measures of condition and various components of mate choice behaviour.It may, however, influence the strength of sexual selection due to its effects on female responsiveness.The relative importance of female choice as a sexually selective force may also covary with female condition, however, because low responsiveness may result in sneak copulations being relatively more important as a determinant of the paternity of offspring.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South, Wales, Sydney 2052, N,S,W, Australia. allie@squiz.net

ABSTRACT

Background: Variation in mate choice behaviour among females within a population may influence the strength and form of sexual selection, yet the basis for any such variation is still poorly understood. Condition-dependence may be an important source of variation in female sexual responsiveness and in the preference functions for male display traits that she expresses when choosing. We manipulated food intake of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), and examined the effect on several measures of condition and various components of mate choice behaviour.

Results: Diet significantly influenced four measures of female condition: standard length, weight, reproductive status and somatic fat reserves. Diet also significantly affected female sexual responsiveness, but not preference functions: females in good and poor condition prefer the same males.

Conclusions: Variation in female condition within populations is therefore unlikely to influence the direction of sexual selection imposed by female choice. It may, however, influence the strength of sexual selection due to its effects on female responsiveness. The relative importance of female choice as a sexually selective force may also covary with female condition, however, because low responsiveness may result in sneak copulations being relatively more important as a determinant of the paternity of offspring. Differences among populations in mean condition may also influence geographic differences in the strength of sexual selection.

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Attractiveness of males (standardized within trials) to females from the high and low-condition treatment.
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Figure 1: Attractiveness of males (standardized within trials) to females from the high and low-condition treatment.

Mentions: We measured critical swimming speed, Ucrit, of females from five of the ten treatment blocks in a flow chamber designed after Nicoletto [39]. It comprised a horizontal clear PVC pipe 1.2 m long and 2.5 cm in diameter (see Figure 1). This chamber had water pumped through it by a submersible pump at a velocity controlled using a tap and measured using a flowmeter (2–10 l/min). A block of 6 cm long straws at the entrance of the chamber was inserted to produce a straightened, laminar flow.


Sexual responsiveness is condition-dependent in female guppies, but preference functions are not.

Syriatowicz A, Brooks R - BMC Ecol. (2004)

Attractiveness of males (standardized within trials) to females from the high and low-condition treatment.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC411045&req=5

Figure 1: Attractiveness of males (standardized within trials) to females from the high and low-condition treatment.
Mentions: We measured critical swimming speed, Ucrit, of females from five of the ten treatment blocks in a flow chamber designed after Nicoletto [39]. It comprised a horizontal clear PVC pipe 1.2 m long and 2.5 cm in diameter (see Figure 1). This chamber had water pumped through it by a submersible pump at a velocity controlled using a tap and measured using a flowmeter (2–10 l/min). A block of 6 cm long straws at the entrance of the chamber was inserted to produce a straightened, laminar flow.

Bottom Line: We manipulated food intake of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), and examined the effect on several measures of condition and various components of mate choice behaviour.It may, however, influence the strength of sexual selection due to its effects on female responsiveness.The relative importance of female choice as a sexually selective force may also covary with female condition, however, because low responsiveness may result in sneak copulations being relatively more important as a determinant of the paternity of offspring.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South, Wales, Sydney 2052, N,S,W, Australia. allie@squiz.net

ABSTRACT

Background: Variation in mate choice behaviour among females within a population may influence the strength and form of sexual selection, yet the basis for any such variation is still poorly understood. Condition-dependence may be an important source of variation in female sexual responsiveness and in the preference functions for male display traits that she expresses when choosing. We manipulated food intake of female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), and examined the effect on several measures of condition and various components of mate choice behaviour.

Results: Diet significantly influenced four measures of female condition: standard length, weight, reproductive status and somatic fat reserves. Diet also significantly affected female sexual responsiveness, but not preference functions: females in good and poor condition prefer the same males.

Conclusions: Variation in female condition within populations is therefore unlikely to influence the direction of sexual selection imposed by female choice. It may, however, influence the strength of sexual selection due to its effects on female responsiveness. The relative importance of female choice as a sexually selective force may also covary with female condition, however, because low responsiveness may result in sneak copulations being relatively more important as a determinant of the paternity of offspring. Differences among populations in mean condition may also influence geographic differences in the strength of sexual selection.

Show MeSH