Behaviour 2019
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Effect of reproductive site limitation on the intensity of sexual selection: a meta-analytic approach
Louise M. Alissa1,2, Diogo M. S. Samia1, Glauco Machado1. 1Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; 2University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States

The availability of reproductive sites is a major factor shaping behavior in species with resource-based mating systems. We expected that reproductive site limitation (RSL) would lead to higher: (1) male competition; (2) opportunity for sexual selection; (3) selection on male traits related to holding resources; and (4) sperm competition risk. We compiled studies that compared individual’s behaviors under low and high RSL. By a meta-analytic approach, we analyzed data from several taxa, from insects to birds. We found that RSL leads to a slight increase in male competition, with higher rates of nest takeover and agonistic interactions, and a slight increase in the selection gradient on male traits, with successful males tending to be larger. We didn't find consistent effects on the opportunity for sexual selection and sperm competition risk. Our findings indicate that some predictions on how RSL affects resource-based mating systems have weak empirical support. We argue about the importance of considering plasticity in the mating tactics, and we discussed that accurate predictions on the intensity of sexual selection should consider both pre- and post-copulatory processes.