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The evolution of polyandry: multiple mating and female fitness in insects
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
2000 In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 60, no 2, 145-164 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 60, no 2, 145-164 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3386OAI: diva2:142059
Available from: 2004-01-22 Created: 2004-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Polyandry and the evolution of reproductive divergence in insects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Polyandry and the evolution of reproductive divergence in insects
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Multiple mating by females is common in nature. Yet, the evolution and maintenance of polyandry remains a bit of an evolutionary puzzle. It was my aim in this thesis to reach a greater understanding of this phenomenon as well as to investigate the consequences of polyandry on the evolution of reproductive divergence in insects. In an extensive meta analysis addressing the direct effects of multiple mating on female fitness in insects, I found that insects gain from multiple matings in terms of increased lifetime offspring production. In species without nuptial feeding, increased mating rate leads to decreased female lifespan and my results strongly support the existence of an intermediate optimal female mating rate. However, results from an experimental study where I examined the relationship between female fitness and mating rate in the bean weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus) showed that female fitness was maximized at two alternative mating rates, indicating that some species may exhibit a more complex relationship between the costs and benefits of mating. In the meta analysis on species with nuptial feeding, I found only positive effects of increased mating rate and the puzzle is rather what constrains the actual mating rates of females in these groups.

Sexual selection is a very potent driver of rapid evolutionary change in reproductive characters. Most research has focussed on precopulatory sexual selection, but in promiscuous species sexual selection continues after copulation and variance in male fertilization success gives rise to postcopulatory sexual selection. In this thesis I found that three allopatric populations of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) have diverged in traits related to reproduction. Male genotype affected all aspects of female reproduction, but more interestingly, males and females interacted in their effect on offspring production and reproductive rate, showing that the divergence was due to the evolution of both male and female reproductive traits.

When studying postcopulatory sexual selection, sperm competition has been put forward as the main source of variance in fertilization success. The results from a set of double-mating experiments, using the same populations of flour beetles, provided strong evidence that cryptic female choice is also important in generating variance in male fertilization success. I found not only main effects of female genotype on male fertilization success but also male-female interactions which provide more unambiguous evidence for cryptic female choice. Finally, I attempted to uncover which male signals-female receptors are involved in the reproductive divergence observed in the Tribolium populations. In a double-mating experiment I manipulated female perception of two male reproductive signals, copulatory courtship and cuticular hydrocarbons, and the results indicate that, within populations, both signals are sexually selected. However, only male cuticular hydrocarbons seem to be involved in the reproductive divergence between the populations.

In conclusion, multiple mating by female insects can be understood solely in terms of direct fitness benefits resulting from increased offspring production. I have shown that postcopulatory sexual selection can lead to rapid divergence in reproductive traits related to mating and that cryptic female choice plays an important role in this divergence.

33 p.
Ecology, Bruchidae, cryptic female choice, multiple mating, sexual conflict, sexually antagonistic coevolution, sexual selection, speciation, sperm competition, Tenebrionidae, Ekologi
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-181 (URN)91-7305-562-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-02-20, Stora hörsalen, KBC, Umeå, 10:00
Available from: 2004-01-22 Created: 2004-01-22Bibliographically approved

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