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Fitness consequences of redundant cues of competition in male D. melanogaster
  • Alice Dore,
  • Amanda Bretman,
  • Tracey Chapman
Alice Dore
University of East Anglia
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Amanda Bretman
Leeds University
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Tracey Chapman
University of East Anglia
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Abstract

Phenotypic plasticity can allow animals to adapt their behaviour, such as their mating effort, to their social and sexual environment. However, this relies on the individual receiving accurate and reliable cues of the environmental conditions. This can be achieved via the receipt of multi-component cues, which may provide redundancy and robustness. Male Drosophila melanogaster detect presence of rivals via combinations of any two or more redundant cue components (sound, smell and touch) and respond by extending their subsequent mating duration, which is associated with higher reproductive success. Although alternative combinations of cues of rival presence have previously been found to elicit equivalent increases in mating duration and offspring production, their redundancy in securing success under sperm competition has not previously been tested. Here, we explicitly test this by exposing male D. melanogaster to alternative combinations of rival cues and examining reproductive success in both the presence and absence of sperm competition. The results supported previous findings of redundancy of cues in terms of behavioural responses. However, there was no evidence of reproductive benefits accrued by extending mating duration in response to rivals. The lack of identifiable fitness benefits of longer mating under these conditions, both in the presence and absence of sperm competition, contrasted with some previous results, but could be explained by: 1) damage sustained from aggressive interactions with rivals leading to reduced ability to increase ejaculate investment, 2) presence of features of the social environment, such as male and female mating status, that obscured the fitness benefits of longer mating, 3) decoupling of behavioural investment with fitness benefits.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

28 Jan 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
29 Jan 2020Submission Checks Completed
29 Jan 2020Assigned to Editor
11 Feb 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Feb 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Feb 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Mar 20201st Revision Received
22 Mar 2020Submission Checks Completed
22 Mar 2020Assigned to Editor
22 Mar 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Mar 2020Editorial Decision: Accept