Abstracts (first author)
The role of sexual selection during adaptation to a novel, stressful environmentPDF
The interplay between natural and sexual selection has been widely studied, and although Darwin invoked sexual selection to explain traits that were clearly not naturally selected, it is unclear whether sexual selection facilitates adaptation to novel environments or not. Here we examined whether sexual selection promotes adaptation to a novel environment using the powerful method of experimental evolution. Using a fully factorial design, we established replicate Drosophila simulans populations in both standard and novel temperature environments, both with and without sexual selection. We found that sexual selection did not promote adaptation to the novel environment and this does not appear to be due to intralocus conflict constraining the evolution of the sexes. These results therefore support the original view of sexual selection as a non-adaptive process. However after 30 generations of selection we did find significantly higher fecundity in females evolving under elevated sexual selection. We will discuss possible explanations for this finding.