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Sperm investment in male meadow voles is affected by the condition of the nearby male conspecifics.

Vaughn, AA and DelBarco-Trillo, J and Ferkin, MH (2008) Sperm investment in male meadow voles is affected by the condition of the nearby male conspecifics. Behavioral Ecology, 19 (6). pp. 1159-1164. ISSN 1045-2249

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Abstract

Sperm competition occurs when 2 or more males copulate with a particular female during the same reproductive cycle, and their sperm compete to fertilize the female's available eggs. One strategy that male voles use to assess the risk and intensity of sperm competition involves responding to the presence of scent marks of conspecific males found near a sexually receptive female. Previously, we have shown that if a male vole copulated with a female while he was in the presence of the odors of another male he increased his sperm investment relative to his investment if another male's odors were not present. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that males assess differences in the relative quality of competing males and adjust their sperm investment accordingly. We did so by allowing males to copulate when they were exposed to the scent mark of a 24-h food-deprived male (low-quality male) or the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived (high-quality male). The data indicate that male meadow voles did not increase their sperm investment during copulation when exposed to the scent mark of a food-deprived male but did so when they were exposed to the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived. The results support the hypothesis that male voles are able to adjust sperm investment when they encounter the scent marks of males that differ in quality.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Behavioral Ecology following peer review. The version of record Behavioral Ecology (2008) 19 (6): 1159-1164 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arn092
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0602 Ecology, 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 0608 Zoology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 14:52
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2015 13:42
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/beheco/arn092
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/899

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