: Imminent predation risk affects mating behaviours in prey individuals in a multitude of ways that can theoretically impact the strength of sexual selection, as well as its operation on traits. However, empirical studies of the effects of imminent predation risk on sexual selection dynamics are still scarce. Here we explore how perceived predation affects: (1) the relationship between the opportunity for selection and the actual strength of selection on male traits; and (2) which traits contribute to male fitness and the shape of selection on these traits. We simulate two consecutive reproductive episodes, under control conditions and perceived predation risk using experimental populations of Trinidad guppies. The opportunity for selection is higher under predation risk compared to the control condition, but realised selection on traits remains unaffected. Pre- and postcopulatory traits follow complex patterns of nonlinear selection in both conditions. Differences in selection gradients deviate from predictions based on evolutionary and non-lethal effects of predation, the most notable being strong disruptive selection on courtship rate under predation risk. Our results demonstrate that sexual selection is sensitive to imminent predation risk perception and reinforce the notion that both trait-based and variance-based metrics should be employed for an informative quantification.

Immediate predation risk alters the relationship between potential and realised selection on male traits in the Trinidad guppy Poecilia reticulata

Glavaschi, Alexandra;Cattelan, Silvia;Devigili, Alessandro;Pilastro, Andrea
2022

Abstract

: Imminent predation risk affects mating behaviours in prey individuals in a multitude of ways that can theoretically impact the strength of sexual selection, as well as its operation on traits. However, empirical studies of the effects of imminent predation risk on sexual selection dynamics are still scarce. Here we explore how perceived predation affects: (1) the relationship between the opportunity for selection and the actual strength of selection on male traits; and (2) which traits contribute to male fitness and the shape of selection on these traits. We simulate two consecutive reproductive episodes, under control conditions and perceived predation risk using experimental populations of Trinidad guppies. The opportunity for selection is higher under predation risk compared to the control condition, but realised selection on traits remains unaffected. Pre- and postcopulatory traits follow complex patterns of nonlinear selection in both conditions. Differences in selection gradients deviate from predictions based on evolutionary and non-lethal effects of predation, the most notable being strong disruptive selection on courtship rate under predation risk. Our results demonstrate that sexual selection is sensitive to imminent predation risk perception and reinforce the notion that both trait-based and variance-based metrics should be employed for an informative quantification.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3466476
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