Data from: Secondary compounds from exotic tree plantations change female mating preferences in the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
Iglesias-Carrasco, Maider; Head, Megan L.; Jennions, Michael D.; Cabido, Carlos (2017), Data from: Secondary compounds from exotic tree plantations change female mating preferences in the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k669c
Selection can favor phenotypic plasticity in mate choice in response to environmental factors that alter the costs and benefits of being choosy, or of choosing specific mates. Human-induced environmental change could alter sexual selection by affecting the costs of mate choice, or by impairing the ability of individuals to identify preferred mates. For example, variation in mate choice could be driven by environmentally induced differences in body condition (e.g. health) that change the cost of choosiness, or by environmental effects on the ability to detect or discriminate sexual signals. We teased apart these possibilities experimentally, by comparing female mate choice in the palmate newt Lissotriton helveticus between environments that mimic water from either native oak forests or exotic eucalypt plantations. In laboratory two-choice mate trials in clean water, females with prolonged exposure (21 days) to waterborne chemicals leached from eucalypt leaves did not preferentially associate with the male with a stronger immune response, but females exposed to water with chemicals from oak leaves did. In contrast, female choice was unaffected by the immediate presence or absence of eucalypt leachates during mate choice (using only females previously held in oak-treated water). The habitat-related change in female choice we observed is likely to be driven by effects of eucalypt leachates on female physiology, rather than immediate inhibition of pheromone transmission or blocking of pheromone reception.