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Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection / Edition 1

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Overview

Competition between gametes for successful fertilization lies at the heart of the evolutionary process: individuals that are more successful contribute in greater measure to future generations and so have greater fitness. Hence this subject is key to a better understanding of the evolution of behaviour, anatomy and physiology and to the mechanism of sexual selection.
In recent years, a growing appreciation of the intricacies of sperm competition has both explained many behavioural curiosities and prompted sometimes radical reinterpretations of both male and female breeding behaviour: even the most apparently simple of breeding systems, such as monogamy, have taken on a new complexity.
Tim Birkhead and Anders Moller have been at the forefront of this field for the last 12 years and here present a collection of 17 papers providing the most comprehensive survey of the subject so far. Sperm competition occurs commonly in almost every animal group, and has resulted in a spectacular array of bizarre and fascinating adaptations. Four general chapters open the book, dealing with the theoretical bases of sperm competition, sperm competition and sexual selection, female perspectives, and paternity and paternal care. Each of the major animal groups, invertebrate and vertebrate, are then reviewed in turn from both functional and mechanistic viewpoints. A chapter which extends these ideas to plants and pollen competition provides extra insights.
This book will be of prime interest and importance to behaviourists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists and reproductive biologists of every kind, suggesting new avenues of research and new ways of approaching old problems.

Audience: Advanced student and research behavioral ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Reproductive anatomists and physiologists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Overall this volume is a marvellous summary of the current state of the field, and importantly for students and newcomers to this area of study, also contains a wealth of suggestions for relevant future research. It is well organized, and highly readable."
—D.J. Hosken in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR (1999)
"...an exceptional resource: an encapsulation of diversity, and in most cases a state of the art synthesis. This book will be heavily consulted by biologists at the cutting edge of research in this field, but at the same time can be read and enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in how evolution shapes animal diversity. There seems little doubt that it will become a new bible for students of sperm competition."
—Ben Sheldon in IBIS (1999)
"...my main reaction is to praise the immense achievement. Two of the chapters ... are expert minibooks in themselves. The book contains large appendices and tables of data; background reproductive physiology made intelligible for behavioural ecologists; intelligent suggestions for future research; and original analyses which have not been published elsewhere. It is a one-stop first-step guide for anyone wishing to understand, add to, subtract from (critically), or multiply (synthetically) research on sperm competition, and should be compulsory equipment in any lab that works on sexual selection."
—Mark Ridley in NATURE
"A major success of Birkhead & Moller's book Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection is to have captured something of the excitement being generated by advances in understanding the evolutionary significance of sperm competition. ...an essential reference text for anyone with more than a passing interest in sexual selection or reproduction."
—HEREDITY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780121005436
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 9/8/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 826
  • Product dimensions: 6.66 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

General Themes:
G.A. Parker, Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Ejaculates: Towards a Theory Base.
A.P. Moller, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection.
W.G. Eberhard, Female Roles in Sperm Competition.
J. Wright, Paternity and Paternal Care.
Taxonomic Treatments:
L.F. Delph and K. Havens, Pollen Competition in Flowering Plants.
D.R. Levitan, Sperm Limitation, Gamete Competition and Sexual Selection in External Fertilizers.
N.K. Michiels, Mating Conflicts and Sperm Competition in Simultaneous Hermaphrodites.
B. Baur, Sperm Competition in Molluscs.
M.A. Elgar, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection in Spiders and Other Arachnids.
L.W. Simmons and M.T. Siva-Jothy, Sperm Competition in Insects: Mechanisms and the Potential for Selection.
C.W. Petersen and R.R. Warner, Sperm Competition in Fishes.
T.R. Halliday, Sperm Competition in Amphibians.
M. Olsson and T. Madsen, Sexual Selection and Sperm Competition in Reptiles.
T.R. Birkhead, Sperm Competition in Birds: Mechanisms and Function.
D.A. Taggart, W.G. Breed, P.D. Temple-Smith, A. Purvis, and G. Shimmin, Reproduction, Mating Strategies and Sperm Competition in Marsupials and Monotremes.
M. Gomendio, A.H. Harcourt, and E.R.S. Roldan, Sperm Competition in Mammals.
T.R. Birkhead and A.P. Moller, Sperm Competition, Sexual Selection and Different Routes to Fitness.
Index.

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