Advantage of rare infanticide strategies in an invasion experiment of behavioural polymorphism
Mappes, T., Aspi, J., Koskela, E., Mills, S., & Poikonen, T. (2012). Advantage of rare infanticide strategies in an invasion experiment of behavioural polymorphism. Nature Communications, 3 (611). doi:10.1038/ncomms1613
Published inNature Communications
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© the Authors, 2012.
Killing conspecific infants (infanticide) is among the most puzzling phenomena in nature. Stable polymorphism in such behaviour could be maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection (benefit of rare types). However, it is currently unknown whether there is genetic polymorphism in infanticidal behaviour or whether infanticide may have any fitness advantages when rare. Here we show genetic polymorphism in non-parental infanticide. Our novel invasion experiment confirms negative frequency-dependent selection in wild bank vole populations, where resource benefits allow an infanticidal strategy to invade a population of non-infanticidal individuals. The results show that infanticidal behaviour is highly heritable with genetic correlation across the sexes. Thus, a positive correlative response in male behaviour is expected when selection operates on females only and vice versa. Our results, on one hand, demonstrate potential benefits of infanticide, and on the other, they open a new perspective of correlative evolution of infanticide in females and males. ...