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Experimental manipulation suggests effect of polyandry but not mate familiarity on within-pair aggression in the social skink, Liopholis whitii

Botterill-James, Thomas; Sillince, Jacinta; Uller, Tobias LU ; Chapple, David G.; Gardner, Michael G; Wapstra, Erik and While, Geoffrey M. (2017) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71(4).
Abstract

Abstract: Long-term monogamy is a key characteristic of family living across animals. The evolutionary maintenance of long-term monogamy has been suggested to be facilitated by increased reproductive coordination as a result of mate familiarity, leading to increased reproductive success. However, such effects can be compromised if females mate outside the pair bond (e.g. female polyandry), introducing conflicts of interest between the male and female. Here, we experimentally test the effects of both mate familiarity and female polyandry on agonistic behaviour and reproduction in a family living lizard, Liopholis whitii. We found that mate familiarity did not decrease the level of aggression between pairs whereas reducing female... (More)

Abstract: Long-term monogamy is a key characteristic of family living across animals. The evolutionary maintenance of long-term monogamy has been suggested to be facilitated by increased reproductive coordination as a result of mate familiarity, leading to increased reproductive success. However, such effects can be compromised if females mate outside the pair bond (e.g. female polyandry), introducing conflicts of interest between the male and female. Here, we experimentally test the effects of both mate familiarity and female polyandry on agonistic behaviour and reproduction in a family living lizard, Liopholis whitii. We found that mate familiarity did not decrease the level of aggression between pairs whereas reducing female polyandry did. However, we did not find an effect of either mate familiarity or female polyandry on female reproductive output. These results suggest that male behavioural responses to female polyandry may influence pair stability in Liopholis whitii, providing support for the growing appreciation of the multiple ways in which female polyandry can influence the stability of family living. Significance statement: Family living is underpinned by social pair bonds between adults (i.e. stable social monogamy). Therefore, key to understanding the emergence and maintenance of family living is identifying factors influencing pair bonds. We manipulated both female polyandry and mate familiarly in replicated enclosure experiment using social lizards to test their role in mediating within-pair aggression and ultimately the coordination of reproductive behaviour and hence reproductive output. We found that polyandry but not mate familiarity influenced levels of aggression between pairs but this did not transmit into concomitant effects on reproductive output.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Egernia, Lizard, Mate familiarity, Monogamy, Polyandry, Sociality
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
71
issue
4
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85016622219
  • wos:000404164800004
ISSN
0340-5443
DOI
10.1007/s00265-017-2302-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
24ee3aa5-e0e5-4bd2-ad06-7d50f99e7b66
date added to LUP
2017-04-12 09:50:50
date last changed
2017-09-18 13:32:20
@article{24ee3aa5-e0e5-4bd2-ad06-7d50f99e7b66,
  abstract     = {<p>Abstract: Long-term monogamy is a key characteristic of family living across animals. The evolutionary maintenance of long-term monogamy has been suggested to be facilitated by increased reproductive coordination as a result of mate familiarity, leading to increased reproductive success. However, such effects can be compromised if females mate outside the pair bond (e.g. female polyandry), introducing conflicts of interest between the male and female. Here, we experimentally test the effects of both mate familiarity and female polyandry on agonistic behaviour and reproduction in a family living lizard, Liopholis whitii. We found that mate familiarity did not decrease the level of aggression between pairs whereas reducing female polyandry did. However, we did not find an effect of either mate familiarity or female polyandry on female reproductive output. These results suggest that male behavioural responses to female polyandry may influence pair stability in Liopholis whitii, providing support for the growing appreciation of the multiple ways in which female polyandry can influence the stability of family living. Significance statement: Family living is underpinned by social pair bonds between adults (i.e. stable social monogamy). Therefore, key to understanding the emergence and maintenance of family living is identifying factors influencing pair bonds. We manipulated both female polyandry and mate familiarly in replicated enclosure experiment using social lizards to test their role in mediating within-pair aggression and ultimately the coordination of reproductive behaviour and hence reproductive output. We found that polyandry but not mate familiarity influenced levels of aggression between pairs but this did not transmit into concomitant effects on reproductive output.</p>},
  articleno    = {71},
  author       = {Botterill-James, Thomas and Sillince, Jacinta and Uller, Tobias and Chapple, David G. and Gardner, Michael G and Wapstra, Erik and While, Geoffrey M.},
  issn         = {0340-5443},
  keyword      = {Egernia,Lizard,Mate familiarity,Monogamy,Polyandry,Sociality},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Experimental manipulation suggests effect of polyandry but not mate familiarity on within-pair aggression in the social skink, Liopholis whitii},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-017-2302-8},
  volume       = {71},
  year         = {2017},
}