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Mate choice for body size leads to size assortative mating in the Ryukyu Scops Owl Otus elegans

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Title: Mate choice for body size leads to size assortative mating in the Ryukyu Scops Owl Otus elegans
Authors: Sawada, Akira Browse this author
Iwasaki, Tetsuya Browse this author
Akatani, Kana Browse this author
Takagi, Masaoki Browse this author
Keywords: assortative mating
body size
Otus elegans
Ryukyu Scops Owl
sexual size dimorphism
Issue Date: Dec-2022
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal Title: Ecology and evolution
Volume: 12
Issue: 12
Start Page: e9578
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/ece3.9578
Abstract: Understanding evolutionary phenomena that involve size assortative mating requires elucidating the generating mechanisms on which assortment is based. Although various mechanisms have been suggested, their relative importance may differ across taxonomic groups. Males selecting for large, fecund females combined with the dominance of large males in the competition for females has been suggested as a major mechanism in specific groups. However, raptors do not appear to conform to this, because the selection for smallness among males (assumed in a theory of reversed sexual size dimorphism) and the selection for largeness among males (assumed in the theory of size assortative mating) are in opposite directions. We studied the assortative mating during a long-term study of the Ryukyu Scops Owls Otus elegans interpositus. Significant assortative mating was found for culmen length (from the base to the tip of the bill) and wing length (from the bend of the wing to the tip of the longest primary). Statistical control of the spatial and temporal accessibility of potential mates did not affect the assortment. Males with short wings had slightly higher fitness components than those with long wings, and females settling early tended to have small wings. Considering that early-settling females can preferentially choose their mates, these results suggest that smaller females have an advantage when choosing smaller males with good reproductive performance. Improved flying and hunting ability of smaller individuals may be the background of choosing smaller individuals. We propose that, not passive process like similarity between individuals and their potential mates, but active mate choice for small individuals is an explanation for the assortative mating in this owl.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:理学院・理学研究院 (Graduate School of Science / Faculty of Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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