↓ Skip to main content

Post-mating sexual selection increases lifetime fitness of polyandrous females in the wild

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, November 2006
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (65th percentile)


142 Dimensions

Readers on

286 Mendeley
1 Connotea
Post-mating sexual selection increases lifetime fitness of polyandrous females in the wild
Published in
Nature, November 2006
DOI 10.1038/nature05206
Pubmed ID

Diana O. Fisher, Michael C. Double, Simon P. Blomberg, Michael D. Jennions, Andrew Cockburn


Females often mate with several males before producing offspring. Field studies of vertebrates suggest, and laboratory experiments on invertebrates confirm, that even when males provide no material benefits, polyandry can enhance offspring survival. This enhancement is widely attributed to genetic benefits that arise whenever paternity is biased towards males that sire more viable offspring. Field studies suggest that post-mating sexual selection biases fertilization towards genetically more compatible males and one controlled experiment has shown that, when females mate with close kin, polyandry reduces the relative number of inbred offspring. Another potential genetic benefit of polyandry is that it increases offspring survival because males with more competitive ejaculates sire more viable offspring. Surprisingly, however, there is no unequivocal evidence for this process. Here, by experimentally assigning mates to females, we show that polyandry greatly increases offspring survival in the Australian marsupial Antechinus stuartii. DNA profiling shows that males that gain high paternity under sperm competition sire offspring that are more viable. This beneficial effect occurs in both the laboratory and the wild. Crucially, there are no confounding non-genetic maternal effects that could arise if polyandry increases female investment in a particular reproductive event because A. stuartii is effectively semelparous. Our results therefore show that polyandry improves female lifetime fitness in nature. The threefold increase in offspring survival is not negated by a decline in maternal lifespan and is too large to be offset by an equivalent decline in the reproductive performance of surviving offspring.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 286 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 9 3%
United States 6 2%
United Kingdom 6 2%
Spain 5 2%
Mexico 4 1%
Australia 2 <1%
Belgium 2 <1%
France 2 <1%
Cuba 1 <1%
Other 10 3%
Unknown 239 84%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 71 25%
Researcher 69 24%
Student > Bachelor 26 9%
Professor > Associate Professor 22 8%
Professor 21 7%
Other 71 25%
Unknown 6 2%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 224 78%
Environmental Science 20 7%
Unspecified 16 6%
Psychology 6 2%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 6 2%
Other 8 3%
Unknown 6 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 June 2015.
All research outputs
of 12,345,186 outputs
Outputs from Nature
of 64,839 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 11,738,166 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
of 64,151 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,345,186 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 64,839 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 71.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 11,738,166 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 64,151 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% of its contemporaries.