Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Pitcher, Trevor(Biological Sciences)

Keywords

Biology, Ecology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Female choice and sperm competition can be important determinants of male reproductive success. I investigated which ornamental traits females preferred, a potential direct benefit of female choice, and which sperm traits were related to competitive fertilization success, in the redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus). I identified male ornaments, female preference for these ornaments, and the relationships between ornaments and sperm traits to determine if females might derive fertility benefits by choosing ornamented males. My findings indicate that females prefer males with more breeding colouration with higher hue values and that those males tended to produce large quantities of high velocity sperm. I also studied sperm competition mechanisms using in-vitro fertilization and found that sperm velocity was the primary determinant of competitive fertilization success. These studies are the first on mate choice and sperm competition in this species, and contribute to our understanding of sexual selection in general.

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