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Opposite effects of learning cause asymmetric mate preferences in hybridizing species

Verzijden, Machteld LU ; Culumber, Zachary W. and Rosenthal, Gil G. (2012) In Behavioral Ecology 23(5). p.1133-1139
Abstract
How do females decide which males to accept or reject as potential mates when the individuals encountered are unfamiliar and may be either heterospecifics or conspecifics? Learning often influences the development of mate preferences. Experience with particular phenotypes often positively biases preference for that phenotype. However, experience can also induce aversion. We studied the effect of short-term experience with unfamiliar conspecific, heterospecific, or hybrid males on mate preferences of females of 2 swordtail fish species with native habitats,which differ in both ecology and effective population size. After exposure to males for a week, we tested the females' preferences for male olfactory cues. Both species shifted their mate... (More)
How do females decide which males to accept or reject as potential mates when the individuals encountered are unfamiliar and may be either heterospecifics or conspecifics? Learning often influences the development of mate preferences. Experience with particular phenotypes often positively biases preference for that phenotype. However, experience can also induce aversion. We studied the effect of short-term experience with unfamiliar conspecific, heterospecific, or hybrid males on mate preferences of females of 2 swordtail fish species with native habitats,which differ in both ecology and effective population size. After exposure to males for a week, we tested the females' preferences for male olfactory cues. Both species shifted their mate preferences, but in opposite directions. Female Xiphophorus.birchmanni, living in larger populations, increased their preference for familiar phenotypes, whereas female X. malinche, from smaller, island-like populations, showed an inverse effect of familiarity, namely a decreased preference for newly familiarized males. The pattern of opposite effects of learning on mate choice mirrors with that seen in the evolution of reinforcement of genetic preferences in continental and island populations. Diametrically opposed shifts in preference can thus arise from the same social experience, causing asymmetry in the species' conspecific mate preferences. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
hybrid zone, mate choice, olfactory communication, reproductive, isolation, Xiphophorus
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
23
issue
5
pages
1133 - 1139
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000308228200030
  • scopus:84865761222
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/ars086
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cb9fc5eb-8d88-4ff7-bfbf-1498d4502053 (old id 3146806)
date added to LUP
2012-11-01 13:22:51
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:26:51
@article{cb9fc5eb-8d88-4ff7-bfbf-1498d4502053,
  abstract     = {How do females decide which males to accept or reject as potential mates when the individuals encountered are unfamiliar and may be either heterospecifics or conspecifics? Learning often influences the development of mate preferences. Experience with particular phenotypes often positively biases preference for that phenotype. However, experience can also induce aversion. We studied the effect of short-term experience with unfamiliar conspecific, heterospecific, or hybrid males on mate preferences of females of 2 swordtail fish species with native habitats,which differ in both ecology and effective population size. After exposure to males for a week, we tested the females' preferences for male olfactory cues. Both species shifted their mate preferences, but in opposite directions. Female Xiphophorus.birchmanni, living in larger populations, increased their preference for familiar phenotypes, whereas female X. malinche, from smaller, island-like populations, showed an inverse effect of familiarity, namely a decreased preference for newly familiarized males. The pattern of opposite effects of learning on mate choice mirrors with that seen in the evolution of reinforcement of genetic preferences in continental and island populations. Diametrically opposed shifts in preference can thus arise from the same social experience, causing asymmetry in the species' conspecific mate preferences.},
  author       = {Verzijden, Machteld and Culumber, Zachary W. and Rosenthal, Gil G.},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {hybrid zone,mate choice,olfactory communication,reproductive,isolation,Xiphophorus},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1133--1139},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Opposite effects of learning cause asymmetric mate preferences in hybridizing species},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ars086},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}