Data from: Heritable spouse effects increase evolutionary potential of human reproductive timing
Evans, Simon R.; Waldvogel, Dominique; Vasiljevic, Nina; Postma, Erik (2018), Data from: Heritable spouse effects increase evolutionary potential of human reproductive timing, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.72p93h1
Sexual reproduction is inherently interactive, especially in animal species such as humans that exhibit extended pair bonding. Yet we have little knowledge of the role of male characteristics and their evolutionary impact on reproductive behavioural phenotypes, to the extent that biologists typically consider component traits (e.g., reproductive timing) as female-specific. Based on extensive genealogical data detailing the life-histories of 6,435 human mothers born across four centuries of modern history, we use an animal modelling approach to estimate the indirect genetic effect of men on the reproductive phenotype of their partners. These analyses show that a woman's reproductive timing (age at first birth) is influenced by her partner's genotype. This indirect genetic effect is positively correlated with the direct genetic effect expressed in women, such that total heritable variance in this trait is doubled when heritable partner effects are considered. Our study thus suggests that much of the heritable variation in women's reproductive timing is mediated via partner effects, and that the evolutionary potential of this trait is far greater than previously appreciated.