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Polyandry and alternative mating tactics

Author:
  • Bryan D. Neff
  • Erik Svensson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Publication/Series: Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences
Volume: 368
Issue: 1613
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

Many species in the animal kingdom are characterized by alternative mating tactics (AMTs) within a sex. In males, such tactics include mate guarding versus sneaking behaviours, or territorial versus female mimicry. Although AMTs can occur in either sex, they have been most commonly described in males. This sex bias may, in part, reflect the increased opportunity for sexual selection that typically exists in males, which can result in a higher probability that AMTs evolve in that sex. Consequently, females and polyandry can play a pivotal role in governing the reproductive success associated with male AMTs and in the evolutionary dynamics of the tactics. In this review, we discuss polyandry and the evolution of AMTs. First, we define AMTs and review game theoretical and quantitative genetic approaches used to model their evolution. Second, we review several examples of AMTs, highlighting the roles that genes and environment play in phenotype expression and development of the tactics, as well as empirical approaches to differentiating among the mechanisms. Third, ecological and genetic constraints to the evolution of AMTs are discussed. Fourth, we speculate on why female AMTs are less reported on in the literature than male tactics. Fifth, we examine the effects of AMTs on breeding outcomes and female fitness, and as a source, and possibly also a consequence, of sexual conflict. We conclude by suggesting a new model for the evolution of AMTs that incorporates both environmental and genetic effects, and discuss some future avenues of research.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • tactic
  • strategy
  • mate choice
  • polymorphism
  • sexual selection
  • disruptive selection

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1471-2970
erik_svensson
E-mail: erik.svensson [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 38 19

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden