SEXUAL IMPRINTING: WHAT STRATEGIES SHOULD WE EXPECT TO SEE IN NATURE?
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 67, Issue 12, pages 3588–3599, December 2013
How to Cite
Chaffee, D. W., Griffin, H. and Gilman, R. T. (2013), SEXUAL IMPRINTING: WHAT STRATEGIES SHOULD WE EXPECT TO SEE IN NATURE?. Evolution, 67: 3588–3599. doi: 10.1111/evo.12226
- Issue published online: 2 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 AUG 2013 09:20AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAR 2013
- National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
- Evolutionarily stable strategies;
- sexual selection;
Sexual imprinting occurs when juveniles learn mate preferences by observing the phenotypes of other members of their populations, and it is ubiquitous in nature. Imprinting strategies, that is which individuals and phenotypes are observed and how strong preferences become, vary among species. Imprinting can affect trait evolution and the probability of speciation, and different imprinting strategies are expected to have different effects. However, little is known about how and why different imprinting strategies evolve, or which strategies we should expect to see in nature. We used a mathematical model to study how the evolution of sexual imprinting depends on (1) imprinting costs and (2) the sex-specific fitness effects of the phenotype on which individuals imprint. We found that even small fixed costs prevent the evolution of sexual imprinting, but small relative costs do not. When imprinting does evolve, we identified the conditions under which females should evolve to imprint on their fathers, their mothers, or on other members of their populations. Our results provide testable hypotheses for empirical work and help to explain the conditions under which sexual imprinting might evolve to promote speciation.