Quantitative genetics of sexual display, ejaculate quality and size in a lekking species
Article first published online: 10 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 82, Issue 2, pages 399–407, March 2013
How to Cite
Chargé, R., Teplitsky, C., Hingrat, Y., Saint Jalme, M., Lacroix, F., Sorci, G. (2013), Quantitative genetics of sexual display, ejaculate quality and size in a lekking species. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82: 399–407. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12023
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 10 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 15 FEB 2012
- Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation
- International Fund for Houbara Conservation
- courtship display;
- ejaculate size and quality;
- genetic correlations;
- sperm competition;
- quantitative genetics
- The investment into extravagant sexual display and competitive sperm are two essential components of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. Even though the selective forces acting on sexual display and sperm characteristics have been extensively studied in recent years, the genetic architecture underlying the expression of these traits has been rarely explored.
- Here, we estimated the genetic variances and covariances of traits linked with ejaculate size and quality, and sexual display in the houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata, Jacquin 1784).
- Using a very large pedigree-based data set, we show that sexual signalling and ejaculate size (but not ejaculate quality) are heritable and genetically positively correlated. The matrix of genetic covariances also provided support for some across-sex correlations: male and female gamete numbers are positively correlated, and more surprisingly, male display and female gamete numbers are also positively correlated.
- These results can have important implications for the understanding of the evolution of sperm traits and sexual display in animals.