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MATERNAL ALLOCATION OF RE… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
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Authors Ines Goncalves
K.B. Mobley
Charlotta Kvarnemo
I Ahnesjö
Gry Sagebakken
Published in European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala, 2007
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology
Language en
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Marine ecology, Ethology and behavioural ecology


Animals that reproduce more than once are expected to make adaptive decisions on how much to invest in each reproductive event. According to the Differential Allocation hypothesis, organisms should weigh the costs and benefits of investing into reproduction when mating with their current partner against the possibility of finding higher quality mates in the future. In the pipefish Syngnathus typhle, males care for the young in a brood pouch. Both sexes prefer large-sized mates, generating a size assortative mating pattern. Females are polyandrous and hence commonly transfer eggs to several males during each breeding season. Large males produce larger offspring than small males do, but it is unknown whether this is due solely to large males gaining access to larger females, which produce larger eggs, or if it is generated (or reinforced) by females investing more into their eggs when mating with a large male. Conversely, females might invest more into the eggs when having to mate with a small male, especially if such males provide poorer care to the eggs than large males do. This study assessed whether females show differential allocation, and whether they allocate more or less resources to the eggs, depending on the size of their mate. We let each female mate with a large and a small male, and measured diameter, weight, lipid and protein content of the eggs. Our results show that females did not invest more into the eggs when mating with a large male. Instead, the egg protein content was higher when females mated with small males, indicating a compensatory differential allocation.

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