Common field data limitations can substantially bias sexual selection metrics

Emily Cramer, Sara Ann Kaiser, Mike S Webster & T Brandt Ryder
Sexual selection studies widely estimate several metrics, but values may be inaccurate because standard field methods for studying wild populations produce limited data (e.g., incomplete sampling, inability to observe copulations directly). We compared four selection metrics (Bateman gradient, opportunity for sexual selection, opportunity for selection, and s’max) estimated with simulated complete and simulated limited data for 15 socially monogamous songbird species with extra-pair paternity (4-54% extra-pair offspring). Inferring copulation success from offspring parentage creates non-independence...
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