Advertisement

Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 435–446 | Cite as

Mate-choice copying when both sexes face high costs of reproduction

  • Joachim G. FrommenEmail author
  • Anna K. Rahn
  • Stefanie H. Schroth
  • Nadine Waltschyk
  • Theo C. M. Bakker
Original Paper

Abstract

Mate choice is linked to costs such as time and energy effort or a higher risk of predation. Furthermore, reproduction with a partner of lower than average quality will reduce an individual’s fitness. Copying the mate choice of others is assumed to reduce such costs. Most studies dealing with mate-choice copying focused on females, as they are usually expected to invest more into reproduction. However, in species where males provide brood care both sexes face high costs. Little is known about mate-choice copying in such mating systems. Male three-spined sticklebacks build nests and care for the offspring alone, facing a high-reproductive investment. Thus, one would expect that both males and females copy the mate choice of others. We gave male and female sticklebacks the opportunity to court either a partner that was visibly courted by another individual or a partner that was not visibly courted. Both spent significantly more time courting next to con-specifics after another individual has visibly courted them. Habituation effects, territorial defence or shoaling behaviour as alternative explanations were excluded by control experiments. The adaptive significance of mate-choice copying is not well understood. The results of this study indicate that in sticklebacks both sexes may reduce the costs of mate choice by copying the preferences of others.

Keywords

Public information Mutual mate choice Sexual selection Fish Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Ricarda Modarressie, Timo Thünken, Ingolf Rick and Julia Schwarzer for discussion. We thank Ricarda Modarressie for catching and Julia Strelau for caring for the sticklebacks and Peter Herold for help in building the set-up. Marion Mehlis assisted in conducting the experiments. Thomas Schaper and Jürgen Wittler gave the permission to catch sticklebacks at the field site. JGF is grateful to Klaus Peter Sauer for financial support. This study adhered to the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour/Animal Behaviour Society Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research. All experiments complied with the current laws of Germany.

References

  1. Allen JRM, Wootton RJ (1982) Age, growth and rate of food consumption in an upland population of the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus L. J Fish Biol 20:95–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amlacher J, Dugatkin LA (2005) Preference for older over younger models during mate choice copying in young guppies. Ethol Ecol Evol 17:161–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amundsen T (2003) Fishes as models in studies of sexual selection and parental care. J Fish Biol 63(Suppl. A):17–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Applebaum SL, Cruz A (2000) The role of mate-choice copying and disruption effects in mate preference determination of Limia perugiae (Cyprinodontiformes, Poeciliidae). Ethology 106:933–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bakker TCM (1986) Aggressiveness in sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.)—a behaviour-genetic study. Behaviour 98:1–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bakker TCM (1993) Positive genetic correlation between female preference and preferred male ornament in sticklebacks. Nature 363:255–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bakker TCM (1999) The study of intersexual selection using quantitative genetics. Behaviour 136:1237–1266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bakker TCM, Mundwiler B (1994) Female mate choice and male red coloration in a natural three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) population. Behav Ecol 5:74–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bakker TCM, Pomiankowski A (1995) The genetic basis of female mate preferences. J Evol Biol 8:129–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bakker TCM, Rowland WJ (1995) Male mating preference in sticklebacks: effects of repeated testing and own attractiveness. Behaviour 132:935–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bakker TCM, Mazzi D, Kraak SBM (2006) Broods of attractive three-spined stickleback males require greater paternal care. J Fish Biol 69:1164–1177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Berglund A, Rosenqvist G, Svensson I (1989) Reproductive success of females limited by males in two pipefish species. Am Nat 113:506–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Candolin U (1997) Predation risk affects courtship and attractiveness of competing threespine stickleback males. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 41:81–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Candolin U (1998) Reproduction under predation risk and the trade-off between current and future reproduction in the threespine stickleback. Proc R Soc Lond B 265:1171–1175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Danchin E, Giraldeau LA, Valone TJ, Wagner RH (2004) Public information: from nosy neighbors to cultural evolution. Science 305:487–491PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dugatkin LA (1992) Sexual selection and imitation—females copy the mate choice of others. Am Nat 139:1384–1389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dugatkin LA (2005) Mistakes and the evolution of copying. Ethol Ecol Evol 17:327–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dugatkin LA, Godin JGJ (1993) Female mate copying in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)—age dependent effects. Behav Ecol 4:289–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dzieweczynski TL, Rowland WJ (2004) Behind closed doors: use of visual cover by courting male three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Anim Behav 68:465–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fletcher DA, Wootton RJ (1995) A hierarchical response to differences in ration size in the reproductive-performance of female three-spined sticklebacks. J Fish Biol 46:657–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frommen JG, Bakker TCM (2006) Inbreeding avoidance through non-random mating in sticklebacks. Biol Lett 2:232–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Galef BG, White DJ (1998) Mate-choice copying in Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica. Anim Behav 55:545–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Galef BG, White DJ (2000) Evidence of social effects on mate choice in vertebrates. Behav Process 51:167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gibson RM, Höglund J (1992) Copying and sexual selection. Trends Ecol Evol 7:229–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gibson RM, Langen TA (1996) How do animals choose their mates? Trends Ecol Evol 11:468–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gibson RM, Bradbury JW, Vehrencamp SL (1991) Mate choice in lekking sage grouse revisited: the roles of vocal display, female site fidelity, and copying. Behav Ecol 2:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goldschmidt T, Foster SA, Sevenster P (1992) Inter-nest distance and sneaking in the three-spined stickleback. Anim Behav 44:793–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goldschmidt T, Bakker TCM, Feuth-de Bruijn E (1993) Selective copying in mate choice of female sticklebacks. Anim Behav 45:541–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Grant JWA, Green LD (1996) Mate copying versus preference for actively courting males by female Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Behav Ecol 7:165–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Höglund J, Alatalo RV, Lundberg A (1990) Copying the mate choice of others—observations on female black grouse. Behaviour 114:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Höglund J, Alatalo RV, Gibson RM, Lundberg A (1995) Mate choice copying in black grouse. Anim Behav 49:1627–1633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Iwasa Y, Pomiankowski A (1999) Good parent and good genes models of handicap evolution. J Theor Biol 200:97–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jennions MD, Petrie M (1997) Variation in mate choice and mating preferences: a review of causes and consequences. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 72:283–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kirkpatrick M, Ryan MJ (1991) The evolution of mating preferences and the paradox of the lek. Nature 350:33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kokko H, Johnstone RA (2002) Why is mutual mate choice not the norm? Operational sex ratios, sex roles and the evolution of sexually dimorphic and monomorphic signalling. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 357:319–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kraak SBM (1996) ‘Copying mate choice’: which phenomena deserve this term? Behav Process 36:99–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kraak SBM, Groothuis TGG (1994) Female preference for nests with eggs is based on the presence of the eggs themselves. Behaviour 131:189–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kraak SBM, Bakker TCM (1998) Mutual mate choice in sticklebacks: attractive males choose big females, which lay big eggs. Anim Behav 56:859–866PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kraak SBM, Bakker TCM, Mundwiler B (1999) Sexual selection in sticklebacks in the field: correlates of reproductive, mating, and paternal success. Behav Ecol 10:696–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Krause J, Godin JGJ, Rubenstein D (1998) Group choice as a function of group size differences and assessment time in fish: the influence of species vulnerability to predation. Ethology 104:68–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kynard BE (1978) Breeding behavior of a lacustrine population of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). Behaviour 67:178–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Largiadèr CR, Fries V, Bakker TCM (2001) Genetic analysis of sneaking and egg-thievery in a natural population of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). Heredity 86:459–468PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Magnhagen C (1991) Predation risk as a cost of reproduction. Trends Ecol Evol 6:183–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McComb K, Clutton-Brock T (1994) Is mate choice copying or aggregation responsible for skewed distributions of females on leks? Proc R Soc Lond B 255:13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Milinski M, Bakker TCM (1990) Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males. Nature 344:330–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Milinski M, Bakker TCM (1992) Costs influence sequential mate choice in sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Proc R Soc Lond B 250:229–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Modarressie R, Rick IP, Bakker TCM (2006) UV matters in shoaling decisions. Proc R Soc Lond B 273:849–854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mori S (1995) Factors associated with and fitness effects of nest-raiding in the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, in a natural situation. Behaviour 132:1011–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nordell SE, Valone TJ (1998) Mate choice copying as public information. Ecol Lett 1:74–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Patriquin-Meldrum KJ, Godin JGJ (1998) Do female three-spined sticklebacks copy the mate choice of others? Am Nat 151:570–577PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pomiankowski A (1987) The costs of choice in sexual selection. J Theor Biol 128:195–218PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pomiankowski A, Møller AP (1995) A resolution of the lek paradox. Proc R Soc Lond B 260:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pruett-Jones S (1992) Independent versus nonindependent mate choice—do females copy each other? Am Nat 140:1000–1009CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Rick IP, Modarressie R, Bakker TCM (2006) UV wavelengths affect female mate choice in three-spined sticklebacks. Anim Behav 71:307–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rodewald AD, Foster SA (1998) Effects of gravidity on habitat use and antipredator behaviour in three-spined sticklebacks. J Fish Biol 52:973–984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rosenqvist G (1990) Male mate choice and female-female competition for mates in the pipefish Nerophis ophidion. Anim Behav 39:1110–1115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rowland WJ (1988) Aggression versus courtship in threespine sticklebacks and the role of habituation to neighbors. Anim Behav 36:348–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sandvik M, Rosenqvist G, Berglund A (2000) Male and female mate choice affects offspring quality in a sex-role-reversed pipefish. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:2151–2155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sargent RC (1985) Territoriality and reproductive tradeoffs in the three-spine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Behaviour 93:217–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schlupp I, Ryan MJ (1997) Male sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) copy the mate choice of other males. Behav Ecol 8:104–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sevenster-Bol ACA (1962) On the causation of drive reduction after a consummatory act (in Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). Arch Néerl Zool 15:175–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Smith C, Wootton RJ (1999) Parental energy expenditure of the male three-spined stickleback. J Fish Biol 54:1132–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Smith RS, Whoriskey FG (1988) Multiple clutches: female threespine sticklebacks lose the ability to recognize their own eggs. Anim Behav 36:1838–1839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sparkes TC, Rush V, Foster SA (2007) Reproductive costs, condition and carotenoid-based colour in natural populations of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Ecol Freshw Fish publ online: doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2007. 00279.x
  65. Swaddle JP, Cathey MG, Correll M, Hodkinson BP (2005) Socially transmitted mate preferences in a monogamous bird: a non-genetic mechanism of sexual selection. Proc R Soc Lond B 272:1053–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Trivers RL (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In: Campbell B (ed) Sexual selection and the descent of man: 1871–1971. Aldine, Chicago, pp 136–179Google Scholar
  67. van den Assem J (1967) Territory in the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus L. An experimental study in intra-specific competition. Behav Suppl 16:1–164Google Scholar
  68. Wagner WE (1998) Measuring female mating preferences. Anim Behav 55:1029–1042PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Widemo MS (2006) Male but not female pipefish copy mate choice. Behav Ecol 17:255–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Witte K (2006) Learning and mate choice. In: Brown C, Laland K, Krause J (eds) Fish cognition and behavior. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp 70–95Google Scholar
  71. Witte K, Ryan MJ (1998) Male body length influences mate choice copying in the sailfin molly Poecilia latipinna. Behav Ecol 9:534–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Witte K, Ryan MJ (2002) Mate choice copying in the sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna, in the wild. Anim Behav 63:943–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Witte K, Massmann R (2003) Female sailfin mollies, Poecilia latipinna, remember males and copy the choice of others after one day. Anim Behav 65:1151–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Wong BBM, Jennions MD (2003) Costs influence male mate choice in a freshwater fish. Proc R Soc Lond B 270:S36–S38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wootton RJ (1973) Fecundity of three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.). J Fish Biol 5:683–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wootton RJ (1976) The biology of the sticklebacks. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  77. Wootton RJ, Evans GW (1976) Cost of egg-production in three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). J Fish Biol 8:385–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wootton RJ, Fletcher DA, Smith C, Whoriskey FG (1995) A review of reproductive rates in sticklebacks in relation to parental expenditure and operational sex ratios. Behaviour 132:915–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim G. Frommen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna K. Rahn
    • 1
  • Stefanie H. Schroth
    • 1
  • Nadine Waltschyk
    • 1
  • Theo C. M. Bakker
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Evolutionary Biology and EcologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

Personalised recommendations