Forced monogamy in a multiply mating species does not impede colonisation success
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Background: The guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is a successful invasive species. It is also a species that mates multiply; previous studies have demonstrated that this strategy carries fitness benefits. Guppies are routinely introduced to tanks and troughs in regions outside their native range for mosquito-control purposes, and often spread beyond these initial confines into natural water bodies with negative ecological consequences. Here, using a mesocosm set up that resembles the containers into which single guppies are typically introduced for mosquito control, we ask whether singly-mated females are at a disadvantage, relative to multiply-mated females, when it comes to founding a population. Treatments were monitored for one year. Results: A key finding was that mating history did not predict establishment success, which was 88% in both treatments. Furthermore, analysis of behavioural traits revealed that the descendants of singly-mated females retained antipredator behaviours, and that adult males showed no decrease in courtship vigour. Also, we detected no differences in behavioural variability between treatments. Conclusions: These results suggest that even when denied the option of multiple mating, singly-mated female guppies can produce viable populations, at least at the founder stage. This may prove to be a critical advantage in typical introduction scenarios where few individuals are released into enclosed water bodies before finding their way into natural ecosystems.
Deacon , A E , Barbosa , M & Magurran , A E 2014 , ' Forced monogamy in a multiply mating species does not impede colonisation success ' BMC Ecology , vol. 14 , no. 18 , 18 . DOI: 10.1186/1472-6785-14-18
© 2014 Deacon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
DescriptionThis work was funded by a NERC scholarship to AED and a FCT postdoctoral fellowship (SFRH/BPD/82259/2011) to MB. AEM acknowledges support from the ERC (project BioTIME 250189) and the Royal Society.
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