Familiarity adds to attractiveness in matters of siskin mate choice
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 280, no 1773, 20132361- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is currently considerable controversy in evolutionary ecology revolving around whether social familiarity brings attraction when a female chooses a mate. The topic of familiarity is significant because by avoiding or preferring familiar individuals as mates, the potential for local adaptation may be reduced or favoured. The topic becomes even more interesting if we simultaneously analyse preferences for familiarity and sexual ornaments, because when familiarity influences female mating preferences, this could very significantly affect the strength of sexual selection on male ornamentation. Here, we have used mate-choice experiments in siskins Carduelis spinus to analyse how familiarity and patterns of ornamentation (i.e. the size of wing patches) interact to influence mating success. Our results show that females clearly prefer familiar individuals when choosing between familiar and unfamiliar males with similar-sized wing patches. Furthermore, when females were given the choice between a highly ornamented unfamiliar male and a less ornamented familiar male, half of the females still preferred the socially familiar birds as mates. Our finding suggests that male familiarity may be as important as sexual ornaments in affecting female behaviour in mate choice. Given that the potential for local adaptation may be favoured by preferring familiar individuals as mates, social familiarity as a mate-choice criterion may become a potential area of fruitful research on sympatric speciation processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 280, no 1773, 20132361- p.
sexual selection, local adaptation, mate choice, ecological speciation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219981DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2361ISI: 000330325600018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219981DiVA: diva2:704290