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Effects of the availability of reproductive sites on the intensity of sexual selection and costs of parental care

Grant number: 16/17920-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2016
Effective date (End): February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal researcher:Glauco Machado
Grantee:Louise Alissa de Morais
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

A central concept in the mating system theory is the environmental potential for polygyny, which postulates that scarce and aggregates resources favor the monopolization of females by a few males. Breeding sites are one of the most important resources used by females and, in many species, these sites are monopolized by larger males or males in better condition. The objective of this project is to investigate the effects of the availability of breeding sites on the intensity of sexual selection and the costs of parental care in a wide range of species. Using a meta-analytic approach, we will test the hypotheses that the lower the availability of breeding sites: (1) the greater the variation in male reproductive success and, consequently, the higher the intensity of sexual selection; (2) the greater the frequency of alternative reproductive tactics; (3) the lower the paternity of offspring defended by territorial males; (4) the higher the costs of parental care. Although there is a great number of empirical studies on mating systems, no attempt has been made so far to synthesize the results and evaluate the generality of the patterns provided by the theory. Given the importance of the theory of mating systems to understand the patterns of variation of male reproductive success, this project will provide a summary that may indicate groups in which the theoretical predictions are not applicable, gaps in our knowledge, and directions for future studies. (AU)