Evolution of a mating preference for a dual-utility trait used in intrasexual competition in genetically monogamous populations

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  • Caitlin A. Stern
  • Maria R. Servedio, Univ N Carolina, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Dept Biol

The selection pressures by which mating preferences for ornamental traits can evolve in genetically monogamous mating systems remain understudied. Empirical evidence from several taxa supports the prevalence of dual-utility traits, defined as traits used both as armaments in intersexual selection and ornaments in intrasexual selection, as well as the importance of intrasexual resource competition for the evolution of female ornamentation. Here, we study whether mating preferences for traits used in intrasexual resource competition can evolve under genetic monogamy. We find that a mating preference for a competitive trait can evolve and affect the evolution of the trait. The preference is more likely to persist when the fecundity benefit for mates of successful competitors is large and the aversion to unornamented potential mates is strong. The preference can persist for long periods or potentially permanently even when it incurs slight costs. Our results suggest that, when females use ornaments as signals in intrasexual resource competition, males can evolve mating preferences for those ornaments, illuminating both the evolution of female ornamentation and the evolution of male preferences for female ornaments in monogamous species.

TidsskriftEcology and Evolution
Sider (fra-til)8008-8016
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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