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Strategic mating effort in a simultaneous hermaphrodite : the role of the partner's feeding status

Janicke, T. and Kesselring, H. and Schärer, L.. (2012) Strategic mating effort in a simultaneous hermaphrodite : the role of the partner's feeding status. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 66 (4). pp. 593-601.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6070253

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Abstract

Sexual selection theory for simultaneously hermaphroditic animals predicts an overall preference for inseminating partners that have a relatively higher female fecundity. Previous work on the link between male mating decisions and female fecundity has primarily focused on the effect of the partners’ body size using existing variation in this trait within a study population. On the assumption that the body size is positively correlated with female fecundity, sperm donors should preferentially inseminate relatively larger individuals to obtain a higher fitness gain through their male sex function. However, empirical evidence for such size-dependent mate choice in simultaneous hermaphrodites is equivocal, possibly because of confounding variables. We studied the mating behavior of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano and tested for a strategic mating effort in response to the feeding status of the partner. We experimentally manipulated the feeding status of potential mating partners in order to generate variation in female fecundity among them and tested whether this affected the copulation number and the number of sperm that the focal worm managed to store in the partner’s sperm storage organ. We found that the manipulation of the feeding status had a strong effect on the body size of the potential mating partners and that focal worms copulated more frequently with, and stored more sperm in well-fed partners compared to unfed partners. Our results suggest that M. lignano adjusts its mating effort in response to the feeding status of the mating partner.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Zoologie > Evolutionary Biology (Schärer)
UniBasel Contributors:Schärer, Lukas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5443
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:20 Sep 2017 09:25
Deposited On:01 Feb 2013 08:45

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