Mate density, predation risk, and the seasonal sequence of mate choices: a dynamic game

P. H. Crowley, S. E. Travers, M. C. Linton, S. L. Cohn, A. Sih, R. C. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Describes and analyzes a computer-simulation model of mate choice, featuring two different quality groups (based on offspring per mating) in each sex. Mating between quality groups results from two-dimensional random encounter and mutual assent, where assent reflects an attempt to maximize expected lifetime reproductive success, E(LRS). Premating predation (via random encounter with predators) and other mortality also influence E(LRS). Given potentially conflicting optimal choices, the model finds the evolutionarily stable patterns of choosiness for the four quality groups. When there are multiple mating episodes by individuals through the season, the resulting dynamic game is solved to obtain a seasonal pattern of mate choice and reproduction. The model generates seven different mating patterns among quality groups. Changes in E(LRS), var(LRS), and mating patterns in response to different densities of predators and of potential mates are explored in detail. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-596
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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