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Roamers and Stayers: A Model on Male Mating Tactics and Mating Systems

Mikael Sandell and Olof Liberg
The American Naturalist
Vol. 139, No. 1 (Jan., 1992), pp. 177-189
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2462591
Page Count: 13
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Roamers and Stayers: A Model on Male Mating Tactics and Mating Systems
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Abstract

We analyzed a system with solitary, stationary, and randomly distributed females, no paternal care, and no female choice. On the basis of the assumption of two male mating tactics, staying and roaming, we developed an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) model that gives quantitative predictions about mating systems. The variables included were male mate-searching efficiency (E), maximal number of females a stayer can include within his range (Fmax), length of mating season (D), length of the individual female's estrous period (O), population sex ratio (K), and the probability that a stayer defeats an intruder (V). The effects of these variables on the resulting mating system were analyzed. All variables except length of mating season influenced the system, where low E, high Fmax, high K, short O, and high V promoted the staying tactic, thereby promoting either monogamy, female-defense polygyny, or resource-defense polygyny. By contrast, the opposite favored the roaming tactic, thereby promoting scramble-competition polygyny. The application of the model to two field studies showed that all variables can be measured in the field and that the quantitative predictions are thereby open to direct tests. The resulting mating system cannot be predicted from any single factor alone; the result of any one factor can be influenced by other factors. Thus, the explanation and prediction of animal mating systems must rely on multifactorial models.

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