Socially flexible female choice differs among populations of the Pacific field cricket: geographic variation in the interaction coefficient psi (Ψ)

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Abstract

Indirect genetic effects (IGEs) occur when genes expressed in one individual affect the phenotype of a conspecific. Theoretical models indicate that the evolutionary consequences of IGEs critically depend on the genetic architecture of interacting traits, and on the strength and direction of phenotypic effects arising from social interactions, which can be quantified by the interaction coefficient Ψ. In the context of sexually selected traits, strong positive Ψ tends to exaggerate evolutionary change, whereas negative Ψ impedes sexual trait elaboration. Despite its theoretical importance, whether and how Ψ varies among geographically distinct populations is unknown. Such information is necessary to evaluate the potential for IGEs to contribute to divergence among isolated or semi-isolated populations. Here, we report substantial variation in Ψ for a behavioural trait involved in sexual selection in the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus: female choosiness. Both the strength and direction of Ψ varied among geographically isolated populations. Ψ also changed over time. In a contemporary population of crickets from Kauai, experience of male song increased female choosiness. In contrast, experience of male song decreased choosiness in an ancestral population from the same location. This rapid change corroborates studies examining the evolvability of Ψ and demonstrates how interpopulation variation in the interaction coefficient might influence sexual selection and accelerate divergence of traits influenced by IGEs that contribute to reproductive isolation in nascent species or subspecies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3589-3596
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Volume279
Issue number1742
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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