Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bateman gradient and operational sex ratio, unite!

Yet one more Kokko paper on sexual selection which immediately reads like a classic.
Unifying cornerstones of sexual selection: operational sex ratio, Bateman gradient and the scope for competitive investment (Ecology Letters) 

challenges the common assumption that a male-biased sex ratio always leads to stronger sexual selection on men, point out ambiguity in the use of the term competition ("The sex that experiences stronger competition /in the mating pool/ does not invariably invest more in competitive traits, because more profitable routes to fitness than increased mating success can differ between the sexes" - for instance, males may invest more  in providing for offspring and less in mate competition if the chance of ever mating again is small), and elegantly introduce the "scope for competitive investment" for assessing when and how traits that improve mating rates are affected by the OSR. Add to this the literary qualities of the subtitles, and enjoy.

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