This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Cite this article
Alfaro-Núñez A, Jensen MP, Abreu-Grobois FA.2015. Does polyandry really pay off?: The effects of multiple mating and number of fathers on morphological traits and survival in clutches of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero. PeerJ PrePrints3:e651v3https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.651v3
Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradicting results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity and number of sires in 12 clutches (240 hatchlings) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nests at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Paternal alleles were inferred through comparison of maternal and hatchling genotypes, and indicated multiple paternity in at least 11 of the clutches (92%). The inferred average number of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5). Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed); and size of the mother; and an environmental variable (incubation temperature). We suggest and propose two different comparative approaches for evaluating morphological traits and clutch paternity, in order to infer greater offspring survival. First, clutches coded by the exact number of fathers and second by the exact paternal contribution (fathers who gives greater proportion of the offspring per nest). We found significant differences (P < 0.05) in clutches coded by the exact number of fathers for all morphological traits. A general tendency of higher values in offspring sired by two to three fathers was observed for the length and weight traits. However, emergence success and crawling speed showed different trends which unable us to reach any further conclusion. The second approach analysing the paternal contribution showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) for any of the traits. We conclude that multiple paternity does not provide any extra benefit in the morphological fitness traits or the survival of the offspring, when analysed following the proposed comparative statistical methods.
This is a revised submission to PeerJ for review. Few modifications were made to the manuscript after the latest statistical analysis.
Female and offspring detected genotypes
Female and offspring detected genotypes for each of the four microsatellite loci -each nest is reported in an individual spreadsheet-. And determination of paternal contribution proportion per each individual nest.