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Temporal migration patterns and mating tactics influence size-assortative mating in Rana temporaria

Title data

Dittrich, Carolin ; Rodríguez, Ariel ; Segev, Ori ; Drakulić, Sanja ; Feldhaar, Heike ; Vences, Miguel ; Rödel, Mark-Oliver:
Temporal migration patterns and mating tactics influence size-assortative mating in Rana temporaria.
In: Behavioral Ecology. Vol. 29 (10 January 2018) Issue 2 . - pp. 418-428.
ISSN 1465-7279
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx188

Project information

Project financing: The field work in Fabrikschleichach was partly supported by an innovation fond of Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
C.D. was funded by a PhD scholarship from Elsa-Neumann Foundation of the Federal State of Berlin
The fee for the open access option was funded by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Abstract in another language

Assortative mating is a common pattern in sexually reproducing species, but the mechanisms leading to assortment remain poorly understood. By using the European common frog (Rana temporaria) as a model, we aim to understand the mechanisms leading to size-assortative mating in amphibians. With data from natural populations collected over several years, we first show a consistent pattern of size-assortative mating across our 2 study populations. We subsequently ask if assortative mating may be explained by mate availability due to temporal segregation of migrating individuals with specific sizes. With additional experiments, we finally assess whether size-assortative mating is adaptive, i.e. influenced by mating competition among males, or by reduced fertilization in size-mismatched pairs. We find that size-assortative mating is in accordance with differences in mate availability during migration, where larger individuals of both sexes reach breeding ponds earlier than smaller individuals. We observe an indiscriminate mate choice behavior of small males and an advantage of larger males pairing with females during scramble competition. The tactic of small males, to be faster and less discriminative than large males, may increase their chances to get access to females. Experimental tests indicate that the fertilization success is not affected by size assortment. However, since female fecundity is highly correlated with body size, males preferring larger females should maximize their number of offspring. Therefore, we conclude that in this frog species mate choice is more complex than formerly believed.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER144573
Keywords: amphibia; evolution; male–male competition; reproductive strategy; assortment by chance
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 07:17
Last Modified: 21 May 2019 11:18
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/42893