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The repeatable opportunity for selection differs between pre- and postcopulatory fitness components

Abstract : In species with multiple mating, intense sexual selection may occur both before and after copulation. However, comparing the strength of pre- and postcopulatory selection is challenging, because (i) postcopulatory processes are generally difficult to observe and (ii) the often-used opportunity for selection (I) metric contains both deterministic and stochastic components. Here, we quantified pre- and postcopulatory male fitness components of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm, Macrostomum lignano. We did this by tracking fluorescent sperm-using transgenics-through the transparent body of sperm recipients, enabling to observe postcopulatory processes in vivo. Moreover, we sequentially exposed focal worms to three independent mating groups, and in each assessed their mating success, sperm-transfer efficiency, sperm fertilizing efficiency, and partner fecundity. Based on these multiple measures, we could, for each fitness component, combine the variance (I) with the repeatability (R) in individual success to assess the amount of repeatable variance in individual success-a measure we call the repeatable opportunity for selection (I-R). We found higher repeatable opportunity for selection in sperm-transfer efficiency and sperm fertilizing efficiency compared to mating success, which clearly suggests that postcopulatory selection is stronger than precopulatory selection. Our study demonstrates that the opportunity for selection contains a repeatable deterministic component, which can be assessed and disentangled from the often large stochastic component, to provide a better estimate of the strength of selection.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 11, 2021 - 2:21:34 PM
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Lucas Marie-Orleach, Nikolas Vellnow, Lukas Scharer. The repeatable opportunity for selection differs between pre- and postcopulatory fitness components. Evolution Letters, 2020, ⟨10.1002/evl3.210⟩. ⟨hal-03105896⟩



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