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An experimental study: Does inbreeding increase the motivation to mate?
University of Antwerp, Belgium.
2018 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 6, article id e0199182Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inbreeding is a central topic in evolutionary biology and ecology and is of major concern for the conservation of endangered species. Yet, it remains challenging to comprehend the fitness consequences of inbreeding, because studies typically focus only on short-term effects on inbreeding in the offspring (e.g. survival until independence). However, there is no a priori reason to assume that inbreeding has no more effects in adulthood. Specifically, inbred males should have lower reproductive success than outbred males among other things because of inbreeding depression in attractiveness to females and a reduced lifespan. Such differences in future reproductive value should affect male mating behaviour, such that an inbred male of a given age should be more motivated to seize a current mating opportunity than an outbred male of the same age. We used an inventive experimental set-up that enabled us to assess male behaviour in relation to an apparent mating opportunity while excluding potential confounding effects of female preference. Age-, weight-, and size-matched inbred and outbred male canaries (Serinus canaria) were presented with a female that only one male at a time could access visually via a ‘peephole’ and thus when both males were equally interested in seizing the apparent mating opportunity this would result in contest. We find that inbred males spent more than twice as much time ‘peeping’ at the female than outbred males, suggesting that inbreeding indeed causes different behavioural responses to an apparent mating opportunity. Our study is among the first to highlight that inbreeding affects male mating behaviour, and therewith potentially male-male competition, which should be taken into account in order to understand the full range of inbreeding effects on fitness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 13, no 6, article id e0199182
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163398DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199182PubMedID: 29912975OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163398DiVA, id: diva2:1274507
Available from: 2019-01-01 Created: 2019-01-01 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved

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