Fluctuating mate preferences in a marine fish

TK Lehtonen, Wong BBM, Kai Lindström

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    According to theory, directional female choice for male sexual ornaments is expected to erode underlying genetic variation. Considerable attention, in this regard, has been given to understanding the ubiquity of heritable genetic variation in both female choice and male sexual traits. One intriguing possibility emerging from this work is that persistent genetic variation could be maintained, over time, by variation in female mate preferences. Here, we report the results of a four-year study showing significant year-to-year fluctuations in mate preferences in a small marine fish, the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus. Although the average size of mature fish varied across years, we were unable to find direct evidence linking this variation to differences in female preferences among years. Our results, nevertheless, underscore the importance of temporal fluctuations in female mate preferences, as these can have important consequences for understanding variation in sexual traits and the intensity of sexual selection.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)21–23
    Number of pages3
    JournalBiology Letters
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • body size
    • lek paradox
    • mate choice
    • sand goby
    • sexual selection
    • temporal fluctuation

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