A1 Journal article (refereed)
Implications of size‐selective fisheries on sexual selection (2020)

Uusi-Heikkilä, S. (2020). Implications of size‐selective fisheries on sexual selection. Evolutionary Applications, 13(6), 1487-1500. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12988

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Uusi-Heikkilä, Silva

Journal or series: Evolutionary Applications

eISSN: 1752-4571

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 13

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 1487-1500

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12988

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71193


Fisheries often combine high mortality with intensive size‐selectivity and can, thus, be expected to reduce body size and size variability in exploited populations. In many fish species, body size is a sexually selected trait and plays an important role in mate choice and mate competition. Large individuals are often preferred as mates due to the high fecundity and resources they can provide to developing offspring. Large fish are also successful in competition for mates. Fisheries‐induced reductions in size and size variability can potentially disrupt mating systems and lower average reproductive success by decreasing opportunities for sexual selection. By reducing population sizes, fisheries can also lead to an increased level of inbreeding. Some fish species avoid reproducing with kin and a high level of relatedness in a population can further disrupt mating systems. Reduced body size and size variability can force fish to change their mate preferences or reduce their choosiness. If mate preference is genetically determined, the adaptive response to fisheries‐induced changes in size and size variability might not occur rapidly. However, much evidence exists for plastic adjustments of mate choice, suggesting that fish might respond flexibly to changes in their social environment. Here, I first discuss how reduced average body size and size variability in exploited populations might affect mate choice and mate competition. I then consider the effects of sex‐biased fisheries on mating systems. Finally, I contemplate the possible effects of inbreeding on mate choice and reproductive success and discuss how mate choice might evolve in exploited populations. Currently, little is known about the mating systems of non‐model species and about the interplay between size‐selective fisheries and sexual selection. Future studies should focus on how reduced size and size variability and increased inbreeding affect fish mating systems, how persistent these effects are, and how this might in turn affect population demography.

Keywords: fishery; fishing; evolution; variation (biology); size; sexual selection

Free keywords: fisheries‐induced evolution; inbreeding avoidance; mate choice; mate competition; plastic response; sex‐biased fisheries; size variability

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 11:51