Article

Resolving the conundrum of inbreeding depression but no inbreeding avoidance: estimating sex-specific selection on inbreeding by song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

Citation

Reid JM, Arcese P, Bocedi G, Duthie AB, Wolak M & Keller LF (2015) Resolving the conundrum of inbreeding depression but no inbreeding avoidance: estimating sex-specific selection on inbreeding by song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Evolution, 69 (11), pp. 2846-2861. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12780

Abstract
Inbreeding avoidance among interacting females and males is not always observed despite inbreeding depression in offspring fitness, creating an apparent “inbreeding paradox.” This paradox could be resolved if selection against inbreeding was in fact weak, despite inbreeding depression. However, the net magnitude and direction of selection on the degree to which females and males inbreed by pairing with relatives has not been explicitly estimated. We used long-term pedigree data to estimate phenotypic selection gradients on the degree of inbreeding that female and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) expressed by forming socially persistent breeding pairs with relatives. Fitness was measured as the total numbers of offspring and grand offspring contributed to the population, and as corresponding expected numbers of identical-by-descent allele copies, thereby accounting for variation in offspring survival, reproduction, and relatedness associated with variation in parental inbreeding. Estimated selection gradients on the degree to which individuals paired with relatives were weakly positive in females, but negative in males that formed at least one socially persistent pairing. However, males that paired had higher mean fitness than males that remained socially unpaired. These analyses suggest that net selection against inbreeding may be weak in both sexes despite strong inbreeding depression, thereby resolving the “inbreeding paradox.”

Keywords
Fitness; mate choice; mating system; pedigree; relatedness; selection gradient

Journal
Evolution: Volume 69, Issue 11

StatusPublished
Publication date30/11/2015
Publication date online15/10/2015
Date accepted by journal16/09/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24546
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0014-3820