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1 May 2008 The evolution of Reproductive Character Displacement Conflicts with How Sexual Selection Operates within a Species
Megan Higgie, Mark W. Blows
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Processes that affect the evolution of female preferences or male display traits involved in mating decisions in different geographic areas have the potential to result in within-species divergence. This could occur via reinforcement of mate recognition in species using the same traits for species recognition and sexual selection. Sympatric individuals experience reinforcement of female preferences and male display traits, whereas allopatric individuals do not, creating the potential for divergent sexual selection in sympatric and allopatric populations. Sexual selection operates on the cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of Drosophila serrata, and reinforcement on the CHCs of populations sympatric with D. birchii. Here, we manipulate sexual selection in D. serrata populations generated by hybridizing natural sympatric and allopatric populations. Under the influence of sexual selection, male CHCs evolved from an intermediate phenotype to resemble an allopatric phenotype, which was driven by female choice. Additionally, female choice resulted in evolution of an allopatric female preference, so that allopatric males were preferred to sympatric males. Allopatric CHCs and preferences represent a sexual selection optimum via female choice. Sympatric populations display suboptimal phenotypes relative to their allopatric conspecifics. The combination of reinforcement and sexual selection can therefore generate divergence in female preferences and male display traits.

Megan Higgie and Mark W. Blows "The evolution of Reproductive Character Displacement Conflicts with How Sexual Selection Operates within a Species," Evolution 62(5), 1192-1203, (1 May 2008).
Received: 19 December 2007; Accepted: 4 February 2008; Published: 1 May 2008

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Drosophila serrata
female preference
mate choice
selection experiment
sympatry and allopatry
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