Evolutionary Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 92–100

Female Reproductive Effort and Sexual Selection on Males of Waterfowl

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11692-012-9188-1

Cite this article as:
Hughes, A.L. Evol Biol (2013) 40: 92. doi:10.1007/s11692-012-9188-1


To test the hypothesis that female reproductive effort influences sexual selection on males, the degree of sexual dichromatism in waterfowl (Aves: Anseriformes) was correlated with female reproductive effort, measured as average clutch mass expressed as a percentage of adult female body mass. Sexual dichromatism was found to be significantly positively associated with female reproductive effort in 21 phylogenetically independent matched-pair comparisons in the subfamily Anatinae, and this result could not be explained by body mass differences alone. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased female reproductive effort increases competition among males for access to females and thus the strength of sexual selection.


Anatidae Reproductive effort Sexual dichromatism Selection 

Supplementary material

11692_2012_9188_MOESM1_ESM.xls (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 16 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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