The evolution of optimal female mating rate changes the coevolutionary dynamics of female resistance and male persistence
2012 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, Vol. 367, no 1600, 2339-2347 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Mating decisions usually involve conflict of interests between sexes. Accordingly, males benefit from increased number of matings, whereas costs of mating favour a lower mating rate for females. The resulting sexual conflict underlies the coevolution of male traits that affect male mating success ('persistence') and female traits that affect female mating patterns ('resistance'). Theoretical studies on the coevolutionary dynamics of male persistence and female resistance assumed that costs of mating and, consequently, the optimal female mating rate are evolutionarily constant. Costs of mating, however, are often caused by male 'persistence' traits that determine mating success. Here, we present a model where the magnitude of costs of mating depend on, and evolve with, male persistence. We find that allowing costs of mating to depend on male persistence results in qualitatively different coevolutionary dynamics. Specifically, we find that male traits such as penis spikes that harm females are not predicted to exhibit runaway selection with female resistance, in contrast to previous theory that predicts indefinite escalation. We argue that it is essential to determine when and to what extent costs of mating are caused by male persistence in order to understand and accurately predict coevolutionary dynamics of traits involved in mating decisions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 367, no 1600, 2339-2347 p.
phenotypic coevolution, life-history models, sexually antagonistic selection, interlocus sexual conflict, evolutionary arms races
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178996DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0219ISI: 000306193500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178996DiVA: diva2:543272