Female monopolization mediates the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits

S. Lüpold, Joseph Tomkins, Leigh Simmons, John Fitzpatrick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Theory predicts a trade-off between investments in precopulatory (ornaments and armaments) and postcopulatory (testes and ejaculates) sexual traits due to the costs associated with their growth and maintenance within the finite energy resources available. Empirical studies, however, have revealed considerable inconsistency in the strength and direction of relationships among these sexual traits. Ambiguity may result from variance in the marginal benefits gained by increasing investments in either pre- or postcopulatory sexual traits. Here, in a broad comparative study, we test the prediction that the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits differs among taxa relative to the importance of male-male contest competition within them. We find that covariance between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits gradually shifts from strongly positive to strongly negative with increasing male-male contest competition. Thus, our findings reveal a potentially unifying explanation for the oftentimes inconsistent relationships in the strength and direction of covariance among sexual traits. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3184
    Number of pages8
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2014

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    Energy resources
    testes
    ambiguity
    maintenance
    Testis
    Costs
    resources
    Maintenance
    costs
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Direction compound
    shift
    Growth
    predictions
    energy

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Theory predicts a trade-off between investments in precopulatory (ornaments and armaments) and postcopulatory (testes and ejaculates) sexual traits due to the costs associated with their growth and maintenance within the finite energy resources available. Empirical studies, however, have revealed considerable inconsistency in the strength and direction of relationships among these sexual traits. Ambiguity may result from variance in the marginal benefits gained by increasing investments in either pre- or postcopulatory sexual traits. Here, in a broad comparative study, we test the prediction that the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits differs among taxa relative to the importance of male-male contest competition within them. We find that covariance between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits gradually shifts from strongly positive to strongly negative with increasing male-male contest competition. Thus, our findings reveal a potentially unifying explanation for the oftentimes inconsistent relationships in the strength and direction of covariance among sexual traits. {\circledC} 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.",
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    Female monopolization mediates the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits. / Lüpold, S.; Tomkins, Joseph; Simmons, Leigh; Fitzpatrick, John.

    In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 3184, 23.01.2014.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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