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The evolution of sperm morphometry in pheasants

Immler, S., Saint-Jalme, M., Lesobre, L., Sorci, G., Roman, Y. and Birkhead, T.R. (2007) The evolution of sperm morphometry in pheasants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. ISSN 1420-9101


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Postcopulatory sexual selection is thought to be a potent evolutionary force driving the diversification of sperm shape and function across species. In birds, insemination and fertilisation are separated in time and sperm storage increases the duration of sperm female interaction and hence the opportunity for sperm competition and cryptic female choice. We performed a comparative study of 24 pheasant species (Phasianidae, Galliformes) to establish the relative importance of sperm competition and the duration of sperm storage for the evolution of sperm morphometry (i.e. size of different sperm traits). We found that sperm size traits were negatively associated with the duration of sperm storage but were independent of the risk of sperm competition estimated from relative testis mass. Our study emphasises the importance of female reproductive biology for the evolution of sperm morphometry particularly in sperm storing taxa.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2007 the Authors. This is an author prepared version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of evolutionary biology. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
Keywords: sperm competition, female reproductive biology, sperm storage duration, sperm morphometry, pheasants, comparative study
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2014 22:36
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01302.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01302.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2011

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