Santos, M., Sapage, M., Matos, M. & Varela, S.A.M. (2017) Mate-choice copying: a fitness-enhancing behavior that evolves by indirect selection.Evolution, 71(6), 1456-1464. DOI:10.1111/evo.13235 (IF2017 3,818; Q1 Evolutionary Biology)
A spatially explicit, individual-based simulation model is used to study the spread of an allele for mate-choice copying (MCC) through horizontal cultural transmission when female innate preferences do or do not coevolve with a male viability-increasing trait. Evolution of MCC is unlikely when innate female preferences coevolve with the trait, as copier females cannot express a higher preference than non-copier females for high-fitness males. However, if a genetic polymorphism for innate preference persists in the population, MCC can evolve by indirect selection through hitchhiking: the copying allele hitchhikes on the male trait. MCC can be an adaptive behavior –i.e., a behavior that increases a population's average fitness relative to populations without MCC–, even though the copying allele itself may be neutral or mildly deleterious.