The contagion indicator hypothesis for parasite-mediated sexual selection.
Journal - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (UNITED STATES )
Hamilton and Zuk [Hamilton, W. D. & Zuk, M. (1982) Science 218, 384-387] proposed that females choosing mates based on the degree of expression of male characters obtain heritable parasite resistance for their offspring. Alternatively, the "contagion indicator" hypothesis posits that females choose mates based on the degree of expression of male characters because the latter indicate a male's degree of infestation of parasites and thus the risk that choosing females and their offspring will acquire these parasites. I examined whether parasite transmittability affects the probability that parasite intensity and male mating success are negatively correlated in intraspecific studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection. When females risk infection of themselves or their future offspring as a result of mating with a parasitized male, negative relationships between parasite intensity and male mating success are significantly more likely to occur than when females do not risk such infection. The direct benefit to females of avoiding parasitic infection is proposed to lead to the linkage between variable secondary sexual characters and the intensity of transmittable parasites. The direct benefits of avoiding associatively transmittable parasites should be considered in future studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection.
|ISSN : ||0027-8424|
|Mesh Heading : ||Adaptation, Biological Animals Female Male Models, Theoretical Parasites Reproduction Sex Characteristics Sex Factors transmission|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Parasitic Diseases physiology|