Intralocus sexual conflict over wing length in a wild migratory bird

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Abstract

Intralocus sexual conflict (ISC) occurs when males and
females have different adaptive peaks but are constrained fromevolving
sexual dimorphism because of shared genes. Implications of this
conflict on evolutionary dynamics in wild populations have not been
investigated in detail. In comprehensive analyses of selection, heritability, and genetic correlations, we found evidence for an ISC over wing length, a key trait for flight performance and migration, in a long-term study of wild great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus). We found moderate sexual dimorphism, high heritability,
moderate sexually antagonistic selection, and strong positive crosssex
genetic correlation in wing length, together supporting the presence
of ISC. A negative genetic correlation between male wing length
and female fitness indicated that females inheriting alleles for longer wings from their male relatives also inherited lower fitness.Moreover, cross-sex genetic correlations imposed constraint on the predicted microevolutionary trajectory of wing length (based on selection gradients), especially in females where the predicted response was reversed.
The degree of sexual dimorphism in wing length did not change over time, suggesting no sign of conflict resolution. Our study provides novel insight into how an ISC over a fitness trait can affect microevolution in a wild population under natural selection.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • antagonistic selection, sexual dimorphism, sexual antagonism, evolutionary constraint, pedigree, quantitative genetics, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-73
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume183
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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