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Mating distribution and its temporal dynamics affect operational sex ratio: a simulation study

Journal article
Authors Charlotta Kvarnemo
S. Merilaita
Published in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 89
Issue 3
Pages 551-559
ISSN 0024-4066
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology
Pages 551-559
Language en
Keywords mate choice, mating competition, sex-roles, sexual selection, variance in mating success, potential reproductive rates, majorcan midwife toad, mate choice, 3-spined stickleback, parental investment, predation risk, selection, competition, roles, fish
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Ethology and behavioural ecology


The present study investigated how variation in mating distribution in time and among males influences the operational sex ratio (OSR) with a simulation inspired by paternally caring fish. Varying (1) the potential reproductive rate of each sex, (2) the mating distribution among males, and (3) the length of male mating phase, we created different mating patterns. In each case, we searched for the adult sex ratio that resulted in an OSR of 50% (where sex-roles switch). This approach enabled a comparison with a previous model. We found that the OSR was influenced by the distribution of matings in time and among males when the male mating phase was limited by a parental phase. Furthermore, the mating dynamics were shaped by the fact that the numbers of males and females and their capacities for collateral investment affected OSR immediately from the start of the reproductive season, whereas their times-out had a delayed effect on OSR. (c) 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 89, 551-559.

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