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Title: Environmental change mediates mate choice for an extended phenotype, but not for mate quality.
Authors: Head, Megan L.
Fox, R. J.
Barber, Iain
First Published: 2-Nov-2016
Publisher: Wiley for Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE)
Citation: Evolution, 2016
Abstract: Sexual cues, including extended phenotypes, are expected to be reliable indicators of male genetic quality and/or provide information on parental quality. However, the reliability of these cues may be dependent on stability of the environment, with heterogeneity affecting how selection acts on such traits. Here we test how environmental change mediates mate choice for multiple sexual traits, including an extended phenotype - the structure of male-built nests - in stickleback fish. First, we manipulated the dissolved oxygen (DO) content of water to create high or low DO environments in which male fish built nests. Then we recorded the mate choice of females encountering these males (and their nests), under either the same or reversed DO conditions. Males in high DO environments built more compact nests than those in low DO conditions and males adjusted their nest structure in response to changing conditions. Female mate choice for extended phenotype (male nests) was environmentally-dependent (females chose more compact nests in high DO conditions), while female choice for male phenotype was not (females chose large, vigorous males regardless of DO level). Examining mate choice in this dynamic context suggests that females evaluate the reliability of multiple sexual cues, taking into account environmental heterogeneity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI Link: 10.1111/evo.13091
ISSN: 0014-3820
eISSN: 1558-5646
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description: Parental fish were collected under permit from the UK Environment Agency and with the permission of the landowners. Laboratory studies were undertaken under the authority of a U.K. Home Office licence (PPL80/2327), in accordance with local and national regulations, and in line with ABS/ASAB guidelines for the ethical treatment of animals in behavioral research (available online at doi for our data is 10.5061/dryad.dc50c.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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