Supplementary material from "Do extra-group fertilizations increase the potential for sexual selection in male mammals?"
Published on 2017-10-09T09:59:53Z (GMT) by
Fertilizations by males outside the social breeding group (extra-group paternity, EGP) are widespread in birds and mammals. EGP is generally proposed to increase male reproductive skew and thereby increase the potential for sexual selection, but the generality of this relationship is unclear. We extracted data from 27 mammals in seven orders and used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the influence of EGP and social mating system on measures of inequality in male fertilization success, which are indices of the potential for sexual selection. We find that EGP and social mating system can predict the potential for sexual selection in mammalian populations, but only when considered jointly and not individually. EGP appears to increase the potential for sexual selection but only when the degree of social polygyny is relatively low. When social polygyny is high, EGP appears to result in a more uniform distribution of reproduction and a decrease in the potential for sexual selection. A possible explanation to be investigated is that the phenotype of extra-group fathers differs systematically across social mating systems. Our findings have implications for the use of EGP and social mating system as indices of sexual selection in comparative analyses of trait evolution under sexual selection.