Mating behaviour: sexual networks and sexual selection

Grant C. McDonald and Tommaso Pizzari

in Animal Social Networks

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780199679041
Published online January 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191794094 | DOI:
Mating behaviour: sexual networks and sexual selection

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In non-selfing organisms, reproduction is mediated by interactions between individuals. These interactions represent a social trait, in which the sexual behaviour of an individual has the potential to affect not only its own fitness but also that of other individuals through its influence on mating and fertilization. A fundamental goal in biology is to understand how sexual behaviour translates into Darwinian fitness and evolves in response of sexual selection. Traditional quantitative frameworks to measure sexual selection and categorize mating systems often assume that populations are panmictic, an assumption undermined by recent work that shows that natural populations are often highly structured. This chapter reviews recent theoretical and empirical work to illustrate how social network analysis can help biologists to study the complex patterns of sexual dynamics in structured populations.

Keywords: mating systems; sexual dynamics; panmictic; sexual selection; social network analysis

Chapter.  7503 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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