Reference : Random size-assortative mating despite size-dependent fecundity in a Neotropical amph...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Animal psychology, ethology & psychobiology
Random size-assortative mating despite size-dependent fecundity in a Neotropical amphibian with explosive reproduction
Székely, Diana [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. sc. (biol. orga. & écol. - paysage)]
Székely, Paul [Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja > Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas > > >]
Denoël, Mathieu* mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Biologie du comportement - Ethologie et psychologie animale >]
Cogălniceanu, Dan* [Ovidius University Constanța > Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences > > >]
* These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Blackwell Publishing
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] assortative mating ; explosive breeder ; fecundity ; mate choice ; sexual selection ; Ceratophrys stolzmanni ; aridity ; amphibian ; horned frog ; body condition ; age structure ; skeletochronology ; SSD ; sexual size dimorphism ; clutch size
[en] Sexual selection theory predicts that, when body size is correlated with fecundity, there should be fitness advantages for mate choice of the largest females. Moreover, because larger males are expected to monopolize the largest females, this should result in an assortative mating based on body size. Although such patterns could be expected in both explosive and prolonged breeders, non-assortative mating should be more widespread in species under time constraints. However, patterns of sexual selection are largely unexplored in explosive breeding species, and contrasting patterns have been found previously. We expect that the active choice of partners may be particularly risky when the time period during which sexual partners are available is severely limited. Therefore, to avoid missing an entire reproductive act, males and females should pair irrespective of traits, such as body size. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the mating patterns of the Pacific horned toad, Ceratophrys stolzmanni, a short-lived fossorial species inhabiting Neotropical dry forests. This species is particularly adequate to test our prediction because it reproduces explosively over the course of a single night per year. Although the number of eggs laid was proportional to the size of females, and individuals of both sexes showed variation in body size, there was no assortative mating based either on size, body condition or age of mates. Egg size was not influenced by either female size or clutch size. The larger body size of females compared to males is likely due to fecundity selection, i.e. the selective pressure that enhances reproductive output. Although we cannot dismiss the possibility that individuals could select their partners based on other criteria than those related to size or age, the results fit well our prediction, showing that the explosive breeding makes improbable an active choice of partners in both sexes and therefore favours a random mating pattern.
Freshwater and OCeanic science Unit of reSearch - FOCUS
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI) ; Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation (ANCS) ; SENESCYT
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