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The evolution of female mate choice by sexual con ict

Summary: The evolution of female mate choice
by sexual con ict
Sergey Gavrilets1*
, Go« ran Arnqvist2
and Urban Friberg2
Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville,TN 37996-1610, USA
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, University of UmeÔ, SE- 901 87 UmeÔ, Sweden
Although empirical evidence has shown that many male traits have evolved via sexual selection by
female mate choice, our understanding of the adaptive value of female mating preferences is still very
incomplete. It has recently been suggested that female mate choice may result from females evolving
resistance rather than attraction to males, but this has been disputed. Here, we develop a quantitative
genetic model showing that sexual con£ict over mating indeed results in the joint evolution of costly
female mate choice and exaggerated male traits under a wide range of circumstances. In contrast to
traditional explanations of costly female mate choice, which rely on indirect genetic bene¢ts, our model
shows that mate choice can be generated as a side-e¡ect of females evolving to reduce the direct costs of
Keywords: sexual selection; sexual con£ict; evolution of female mate choice; mathematical models


Source: Arnqvist, Göran - Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala Universitet
Gavrilets, Sergey - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology