Document Detail

Male fertility in natural populations of red deer is determined by sperm velocity and the proportion of normal spermatozoa.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15576823     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Male reproductive success is determined by the ability of males to gain sexual access to females and by their ability to fertilize ova. Among polygynous mammals, males differ markedly in their reproductive success, and a great deal of effort has been made to understand how selective forces have shaped traits that enhance male competitiveness both before and after copulation (i.e., sperm competition). However, the possibility that males also may differ in their fertility has been ignored under the assumption that male infertility is rare in natural populations because selection against it is likely to be strong. In the present study, we examined which semen traits correlate with male fertility in natural populations of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus). We found no trade-offs between semen traits. Our analyses revealed strong associations between sperm production and sperm swimming velocity, sperm motility and proportion of morphologically normal spermatozoa, and sperm viability and acrosome integrity. These last two variables had the lowest coefficients of variation, suggesting that these traits have stabilized at high values and are unlikely to be related to fitness. In a fertility trial, our results show a large degree of variation in male fertility, and differences in fertility were determined mainly by sperm swimming velocity and by the proportion of morphologically normal sperm. We conclude that male fertility varies substantially in natural populations of Iberian red deer and that, when sperm numbers are equal, it is determined mainly by sperm swimming velocity and sperm morphology.
Aurelio F Malo; J Julián Garde; Ana J Soler; Andrés J García; Montserrat Gomendio; Eduardo R S Roldan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2004-12-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology of reproduction     Volume:  72     ISSN:  0006-3363     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Reprod.     Publication Date:  2005 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-03-22     Completed Date:  2005-08-30     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0207224     Medline TA:  Biol Reprod     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  822-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Reproductive Ecology and Biology Group, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), 28006-Madrid, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Deer / physiology*
Fertility / physiology*
Insemination, Artificial / veterinary
Sperm Count
Sperm Motility / physiology*
Spermatozoa / physiology*
Testis / cytology

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