Supplementary material from "The evolution of monogamy is associated with reversals from male to female bias in the survival cost of parasitism"

Posted on 04.05.2021 - 03:55
The extent to which parasites reduce host survival should depend upon how hosts balance trade-offs between reproduction and survival. For example, parasites are predicted to impose greater survival costs under polygynous or promiscuous mating systems in which competition for mates favours increased reproductive investment, particularly in males. We provide the first comparative test of the hypothesis that the mating system of the host is an important determinant of (i) the extent to which parasites reduce survival and (ii) the extent to which males and females differ in the survival cost of parasitism. Using meta-analysis of 85 published estimates of the survival cost of parasitism from 72 studies of 64 species representing diverse animal lineages, we show that parasites impose a mean 3.5-fold increase in the odds of mortality on their hosts. Although this survival cost does not differ significantly across monogamous, polygynous and promiscuous mating systems, females incur a greater survival cost than males in monogamous species, whereas males incur a greater survival cost than females in polygynous and promiscuous species. Our results support the idea that mating systems shape the relative extent to which males and females invest in reproduction at the expense of defence against parasites.

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Wittman, Tyler N.; Cox, Robert M. (2021): Supplementary material from "The evolution of monogamy is associated with reversals from male to female bias in the survival cost of parasitism". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5411553.v1
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