Dedicated to Professor Dr Wolfgang Wickler on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Litter sex ratio affects lifetime reproductive success of free-living female Alpine marmots Marmota marmota†
Article first published online: 20 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Mammal Review © 2011 Mammal Society/Blackwell Publishing
Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 310–313, October 2012
How to Cite
HACKLÄNDER, K. and ARNOLD, W. (2012), Litter sex ratio affects lifetime reproductive success of free-living female Alpine marmots Marmota marmota. Mammal Review, 42: 310–313. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00199.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 OCT 2011
- Submitted 12 January 2011; returned for revision 3 March 2011; revision accepted 9 June 2011
- female reproduction;
- intrauterine position;
- maternal effects;
- prenatal effects;
- social dominance
In litter-bearing mammals, adult phenotype is influenced during prenatal life by the sex of neighbouring foetuses. This phenomenon, found so far only in laboratory studies, may have ecological importance in nature. We present the first evidence that litter sex ratio has consequences for lifetime reproductive success in mammals. Female Alpine marmots born in a male-biased litter, i.e. more likely to be located in utero next to male foetuses, are more likely to be dominant later in life – a prerequisite for reproduction in this species. We found no evidence for lower reproductive output of these females, a common cost of prenatal masculinization.