Viability selection creates negative heterozygosity-fitness correlations in female Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix

Type Article
Date 2018-01
Language English
Author(s) Soulsbury Carl D.1, 2, Lebigre ChristopheORCID2, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Lincoln, Sch Life Sci, Lincoln, England.
2 : Univ Jyvaskyla, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, POB 35 Ambiotica, Jyvaskyla 40014, Finland.
3 : French Res Inst Exploitat Sea, F-29820 Plouzane, France.
Source Journal Of Ornithology (0021-8375) (Springer), 2018-01 , Vol. 159 , N. 1 , P. 93-101
DOI 10.1007/s10336-017-1474-3
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Inbreeding, Outbreeding, Neutral loci, Selective mortality, Genetic diversity

There is widespread interest in the relationship between individual genetic diversity and fitness-related traits (heterozygosity-fitness correlations; HFCs). Most studies have found weak continuous increases of fitness with increasing heterozygosity, while negative HFCs have rarely been reported. Negative HFCs are expected in cases of outbreeding depression, but outbreeding is rare in natural populations. Negative HFCs may also arise through viability selection acting on low heterozygosity individuals at an early stage producing a skew in the heterozygosity distribution. We tested this idea using survival and clutch parameters (egg mass, egg volume, chick mass, clutch size) in female Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix and carried out simulations to determine how survival selection may impact the HFCs measured using clutch parameters. We show that survival is positively related to both individual heterozygosity and female body mass. There was a positive effect of body mass on all clutch parameters, but the selective mortality of females with both low heterozygosity and low body mass led to overrepresentation of high heterozygosity-low body mass females and hence a negative relationship between egg volume and heterozygosity. Using simulated data, we show that survival selection acting on both low body mass and low heterozygosity leads to a skew in the quality of breeding females, resulting in negative HFCs with egg volume. Our results indicate that survival selection can strongly influence the strength and direction of any HFCs that occur later in life and that only an integration of all aspects of individual reproductive investment and reproductive success can enable us to fully understand how heterozygosity can shape individual fitness.

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