Sexual display and mate choice in an energetically costly environment

Megan Head, Bob Wong, Robert Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual displays and mate choice often take place under the same set of environmental conditions and, as a consequence, may be exposed to the same set of environmental constraints. Surprisingly, however, very few studies consider the effects of environmental costs on sexual displays and mate choice simultaneously. We conducted an experiment, manipulating water flow in large flume tanks, to examine how an energetically costly environment might affect the sexual display and mate choice behavior of male and female guppies, Poecilia reticulata. We found that male guppies performed fewer sexual displays and became less choosy, with respect to female size, in the presence of a water current compared to those tested in still water. In contrast to males, female responsive to male displays did not differ between the water current treatments and females exhibited no mate preferences with respect to male size or coloration in either treatment. The results of our study underscore the importance of considering the simultaneous effects of environmental costs on the sexual behaviors of both sexes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 4
Number of pages4
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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