NadpisImplications of mate search, mate choice and divorce rate for population dynamics of sexually reproducing species
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AutořiBerec, L, David S. Boukal

In this paper we examine how the process of mate search, degree of mate choice and degree of mate fidelity may interact to affect long-term population dynamics of sexually reproducing species. In particular, we address the following questions: are degree of mate choice and degree of mate fidelity correlated? How does mate search shape this relationship? How does longevity affect mating behaviour? To resolve these questions, we develop a spatially explicit, individual-based model of a sexually reproducing population with single (i.e. unpaired) males, single females, and pairs as focal individuals. Both this model and its non-spatial approximation give rise to the Allee effect due to lack of mating possibilities, and sufficiently small/sparse populations always go extinct. We quantify combinations of mate choice and divorce rate under which populations persist or go extinct even from high sizes. We thus show that there exist ecological constraints for possible (co)evolution of mate choice and pair maintenance behaviour. Our models also suggest that colonial species with active mate search strategy survive at higher divorce rates than less colonial animals that search for their mates randomly, and that long-lived species sustain at higher degrees of mate choice and lower degrees of mate fidelity compared to the short-lived ones. Connection of these findings to other theoretical results and some empirical observations is discussed.