Sexual selection and the evolution of condition-dependence: an experimental test at two resource levels

Bath, Eleanor, Rostant, Wayne ORCID:, Ostridge, Harrison J., Smith, Sophie, Mason, Janet S, Rafaluk-Mohr, Timm, Mank, Judith E., Chapman, Tracey and Perry, Jennifer C. ORCID: (2023) Sexual selection and the evolution of condition-dependence: an experimental test at two resource levels. Evolution, 77 (3). pp. 776-788. ISSN 0014-3820

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Stronger condition-dependence in sexually selected traits is well-documented, but how this relationship is established remains unknown. Moreover, resource availability can shape responses to sexual selection, but resource effects on the relationship between sexual selection and condition-dependence are also unknown. In this study, we directly test the hypotheses that sexual selection drives the evolution of stronger-condition-dependence and that resource availability affects the outcome, by evolving fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) under relatively strong or weak sexual selection (through varied sex ratios) and at resource-poor or resource-rich adult diets. We then experimentally manipulated condition via developmental diet and assessed condition-dependence in adult morphology, behavior, and reproduction. We observed stronger condition-dependence in female size in male-biased populations and in female ovariole production in resource-limited populations. However, we found no evidence that male condition-dependence increased in response to sexual selection, or that responses depended on resource levels. These results offer no support for the hypotheses that sexual selection increases male condition-dependence or that sexual selection’s influence on condition-dependence is influenced by resource availability. Our study is, to our knowledge, the first experimental test of these hypotheses. If the results we report are general, then sexual selection’s influence on the evolution of condition-dependence may be less important than predicted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/P017193/1 (JCP); NE/R010056/1 and NE/K004697/1 (TC)).
Uncontrolled Keywords: condition-dependence,experimental evolution,nutrition,plasticity,sex ratio,sexual conflict,sexual selection,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,genetics,agricultural and biological sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2023 15:30
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 08:30
DOI: 10.1093/evolut/qpac066

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