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Sons are made from old stores: sperm storage effects on sex ratio in a lizard

Author:
  • Mats Olsson
  • Tonia Schwartz
  • Tobias Uller
  • Mo Healey
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 491-493
Publication/Series: Biology Letters
Volume: 3
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

Sperm storage is a widespread phenomenon across taxa and mating systems but its consequences for central fitness parameters, such as sex ratios, has rarely been investigated. In Australian painted dragon lizards (Ctenophorus pictus), we describe elsewhere that male reproductive success via sperm competition is largely an effect of sperm storage. That is, sperm being stored in the female reproductive tract out-compete more recently inseminated sperm in subsequent ovarian cycles. Here we look at the consequences of such sperm storage for sex allocation in the same species, which has genetic sex determination. We show that stored sperm have a 23% higher probability of producing sons than daughters. Thus, shifts in sex ratio, for example over the reproductive season, can partly be explained by different survival of son-producing sperm or some unidentified female mechanism taking effect during prolonged storage.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1744-9561
Tobias Uller
E-mail: tobias.uller [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 30 94

E-C256

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

I am currently about to move to Lund from University of Oxford. For details about DPhil students and postdocs in my previous research group based at the Edward Grey Institute, please click here

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CV (pdf; 241 kB)