Breeding resource distribution affects selection gradients on male phenotypic traits: experimental study on lifetime reproductive success in the bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus)


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Year of publication 2009
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Evolution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords sexual selection; reproductive effort
Description The spatial distribution of breeding resources can have pronounced demographic and evolutionary consequences. We used 20 experimental groups of the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), an annual fish with a promiscuous, resource-based mating system and extended breeding season to investigate how the spatial distribution of bitterling oviposition sites affected offspring production, variation in reproductive success and directional selection on phenotypic traits. We did not detect any effect of resource distribution on offspring production or variation in reproductive success among individual fish, though variation between replicates was higher with a clumped distribution. Breeding resource distribution had a significant effect on selection on male phenotypic traits. Stronger directional selection on traits associated with intra-sexual competition, gonad mass and the extent of red, carotenoid-based pigment in the iris, was detected with a clumped distribution.
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