Evol Ecol Res 19: 441-453 (2018)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Testing for a whole-organism trade-off between natural and sexual selection:
are the male guppies preferred by females more likely to be eaten by predators?

José Jonathas P.R. de Lira, Felipe Peréz-Jvostov, Kiyoko M. Gotanda*, Sian Kou-Giesbrecht#, Sarah K. Pease^, Marlee Jackson, Shaffiq Jersch and Andrew P. Hendry

Department of Biology and Redpath Museum, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence: J.J.P.R. de Lira, Department of Biology and Redpath Museum, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada. email: lirajjpr@gmail.com


Background: Trade-offs between natural and sexual selection have major consequences for the evolution of traits subject to both forces. However, such a trade-off might not be easily detected given that both natural and sexual selection operate in a multi-trait – rather than in a single-trait – manner.

Organism: The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata (Osteichthyes).

Hypothesis: Males preferred by females are more susceptible to predation.

Aim: Develop and apply a whole-organism, performance-based test for a trade-off between natural and sexual selection.

Methods: We conducted three different experiments involving pairs of males in female choice trials followed by the same pairs of males in predation trials. The hypothesis was tested with chi-square contingency table analyses for each experiment separately and for all data combined.

Results: Males preferred by females were not more likely to be eaten by a predator.

Conclusion: The whole-organism, performance-based trade-off is absent, very weak, or context-dependent, making it difficult to detect in experiments.

Keywords: mate choice, performance, Poecilia reticulata, predation.

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* Present address: Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
# Present address: Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA.
^ Present address: Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA.
© 2018 José Jonathas P.R. de Lira.
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