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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013 Jan 21;368(1613):20120042. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0042. Print 2013 Mar 5.

Polyandry as a mediator of sexual selection before and after mating.

Author information

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. charlotta.kvarnemo@abo.fi

Abstract

The Darwin-Bateman paradigm recognizes competition among males for access to multiple mates as the main driver of sexual selection. Increasingly, however, females are also being found to benefit from multiple mating so that polyandry can generate competition among females for access to multiple males, and impose sexual selection on female traits that influence their mating success. Polyandry can reduce a male's ability to monopolize females, and thus weaken male focused sexual selection. Perhaps the most important effect of polyandry on males arises because of sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Polyandry favours increased male ejaculate expenditure that can affect sexual selection on males by reducing their potential reproductive rate. Moreover, sexual selection after mating can ameliorate or exaggerate sexual selection before mating. Currently, estimates of sexual selection intensity rely heavily on measures of male mating success, but polyandry now raises serious questions over the validity of such approaches. Future work must take into account both pre- and post-copulatory episodes of selection. A change in focus from the products of sexual selection expected in males, to less obvious traits in females, such as sensory perception, is likely to reveal a greater role of sexual selection in female evolution.

PMID:
23339234
PMCID:
PMC3576577
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2012.0042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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