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Parallel divergence in mate guarding behaviour following colonization of a novel habitat.

  • Kristina Karlsson
  • Fabrice Eroukhmanoff
  • Roger Härdling
  • Erik Svensson
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 2540-2549
Publication/Series: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume: 23
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

Ecological factors can have profound effects on mating system and mating behaviour. We investigated the effect of altered ecological conditions, following colonization of a novel habitat, on precopulatory mate guarding in a freshwater isopod (Asellus aquaticus). This isopod occurs in two different ecotypes, which coexist within several different lakes in Sweden but which utilize different habitats. These ecotypes have rapidly (ca. 40 generations) diverged in parallel among lakes in several phenotypic characters, presumably as a response to different predatory pressures. Here, we demonstrate that also mate guarding characteristics have diverged in parallel between the ecotypes in different lakes. This is one of the few studies reporting parallel evolution of mating behaviour. Furthermore, our results also indicate a potential sexual conflict, as the length of mate guarding appears to lower components of female fitness. We discuss how novel environments might have strong and rapid effects on mate guarding dynamics and mating behaviour.


  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 1420-9101
E-mail: erik [dot] svensson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Evolutionary ecology

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
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