Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Male Mate Choice Influences Female Promiscuity in Soay Sheep

B. T. Preston, I. R. Stevenson, J. M. Pemberton, D. W. Coltman and K. Wilson
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 272, No. 1561 (Feb. 22, 2005), pp. 365-373
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30047555
Page Count: 9
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Male Mate Choice Influences Female Promiscuity in Soay Sheep
Preview not available

Abstract

In most animal species, males are predicted to compete for reproductive opportunities, while females are expected to choose between potential mates. However, when males' rate of reproduction is constrained, or females vary widely in 'quality', male mate choice is also predicted to occur. Such conditions exist in the promiscuous mating system of feral Soay sheep on St Kilda, Scotland, where a highly synchronized mating season, intense sperm competition and limitations on sperm production constrain males' potential reproductive rate, and females vary substantially in their ability to produce successful offspring. We show that, consistent with predictions, competitive rams focus their mating activity and siring success towards heavier females with higher inclusive fitness. To our knowledge, this is the first time that male mate choice has been identified and shown to lead to assortative patterns of parentage in a natural mammalian system, and occurs despite fierce male-male competition for mates. An additional consequence of assortative mating in this population is that lighter females experience a series of unstable consorts with less adept rams, and hence are mated by a greater number of males during their oestrus. We have thus also identified a novel male-driven mechanism that generates variation in female promiscuity, which suggests that the high levels of female promiscuity in this system are not part of an adaptive female tactic to intensify post-copulatory competition between males.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
368
    368
  • Thumbnail: Page 
369
    369
  • Thumbnail: Page 
370
    370
  • Thumbnail: Page 
371
    371
  • Thumbnail: Page 
372
    372
  • Thumbnail: Page 
373
    373