Symposium - "Integrating pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection when studying mating behaviour"

Keynte speakers:  Charlotta Kvarnemo (Sweden) & Stefan Lüpold (Switzerland)

In most animal species, females mate with more than one male during a reproductive cycle, setting the stage for male-male competition to continue after copulation through sperm competition. In such non-monandrous mating systems, male reproductive success is determined by both access to females (promoted by traits under pre-copulatory sexual selection) and sperm competitive ability (promoted by traits under post-copulatory sexual selection). Although it is well recognised that pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection both represent powerful selective forces shaping variation in behavioural phenotypes, both processes are often studied in isolation. How traits under either pre- or post-copulatory sexual selection relate to each other remains largely unknown and represents the next big question on the evolution of mating behaviours. More specifically, the following points need to be addressed: Under which social and ecological conditions do resource allocation trade-offs between traits under pre- or post-copulatory sexual selection lead to compromise phenotypes?

Under which conditions do alternative routes to equal fitness promote the evolution of specialist phenotypes that excel in either type of trait? How does the very interaction between pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection contribute to creating additional diversity in mating behaviours and ultimately mating systems?

The main goal of our symposium is to integrate pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection and review how the interaction between both can contribute to our understanding of diversity in mating behaviours within and between species. Equally important aims are to develop perspectives for future research agendas with symposium participants and establish new networks for collaborative research.


The European Conference of Behavioural Biology | Universitätsring 1  | 1010 Wien