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Am Nat. 2005 May;165 Suppl 5:S46-63.

Why are males bad for females? Models for the evolution of damaging male mating behavior.

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Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 40, 6666 ZG Heteren, The Netherlands.


One explanation for the cost to mating for females caused by damaging male mating behavior is that this causes the females to adaptively modify their subsequent life histories in a way that also increases male fitness. This might occur because the reduction in residual reproductive value of the female increases her optimal oviposition rate or because an increase in the current level of damage increases the female's optimal remating interval. In this article, I present models of a stochastic dynamic game in which males choose the level of mating damage that they inflict on females and females choose their oviposition rate and whether to remate. The models show that some level of damage is always an evolutionarily stable strategy and may even provoke females into making terminal reproductive investment (and hence a semelparous life history), that nondamaging populations are always invaded by damaging male mutants, and that damage evolves because of its effect on oviposition rate and despite its effect on remating interval.

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