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Testes size increases with sperm competition risk and intensity in bony fish and sharks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Manchester, UK.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2834-4409
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 364-371Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Female multiple mating provides the opportunity for sexual selection to continue after gamete release, generating strong selection on male reproductive traits. In particular, in species where female multiple mating is common, males are expected to invest more in testicular tissue to afford them a numerical advantage during sperm competition. However, although relative testes size (correcting for body size) is a commonly used proxy of the strength of sperm competition, there is surprisingly scant direct evidence linking male investment in testes with genetic estimates of multiple paternity across species. Here, we test the hypothesis that testes size is associated with genetic estimates of sperm competition risk (multiple paternity percentage) and intensity (number of sires per brood) in fishes, the most diverse and specious vertebrate group. We provide conclusive evidence that relative testes size is larger in species experiencing a higher risk and intensity of sperm competition, a finding that remains consistent among sharks and bony fishes (including in separate analyses focused only on cichlids). These findings shed new light on evolutionary processes governing sperm competition in a basal vertebrate lineage and validate the now-widespread use of relative testes mass as a proxy for sperm competition risk and intensity in fishes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 30, no 2, p. 364-371
Keywords [en]
polyandry, sexual selection, sperm competition
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169308DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ary174ISI: 000464932900011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169308DiVA, id: diva2:1319395
Available from: 2019-05-31 Created: 2019-05-31 Last updated: 2019-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Rowley, Amy G.Fitzpatrick, John L.
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CiteExportLink to record
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