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Optimal sperm length for high siring success depends on forehead patch size in collared flycatchers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Michigan State Univ, Dept Integrat Biol, Giltner Hall 362, E Lansing, MI 48825 USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2861-9721
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Univ Edinburgh, Inst Evolutionary Biol, Charlotte Auerbach Rd, Edinburgh EH9 3FL, Midlothian, Scotland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0706-458x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1178-4053
2018 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 29, no 6, p. 1436-1443Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dominance over rivals, sexual attractiveness, and highly efficient ejaculates are 3 important contributors of male fertilization success but theories about how primary and secondary sexual characters may co-evolve largely remain to be tested. We investigated how variation in a sexual signal (forehead patch size) and sperm morphology jointly affected siring success of 70 males in a natural population of collared flycatchers. We show that the optimal sperm length to attain high relative fertilization success depended on the size of a male's secondary sexual character. Males with small forehead patches sired more offspring in their nest when they produced long sperm and vice-versa. These results are not compatible with theories based on simple relationships between display traits and sperm "quality" but imply that the optimal fertilization strategy (and hence optimal sperm traits) differs between males even in a predominantly socially monogamous population with moderate extra-pair paternity rates. Thus, a better knowledge of the complex chain of behavioural interactions between the sexes and their gametes is needed for a complete understanding of how sexual selection operates in nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC , 2018. Vol. 29, no 6, p. 1436-1443
Keywords [en]
extra-pair paternity, fertilization success, Ficedula flycatcher, mating strategy, secondary sexual character, sperm morphology
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372829DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ary115ISI: 000453209600033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372829DiVA, id: diva2:1277004
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 621-2012-3722Available from: 2019-01-09 Created: 2019-01-09 Last updated: 2019-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Ålund, MurielleMcFarlane, S. ErynQvarnström, Anna

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