Bet-hedging via polyandry: A comment on 'Mating portfolios: bet-hedging, sexual selection and female multiple mating'


Garcia-Gonzalez et al. [1] conducted an original and elegant experiment examining whether fertilization of a female’s eggs by multiple males (polyandry) can provide fitness benefits via ‘bet-hedging’ (i.e. due to decreased variance in offspring fitness). The authors measured these benefits in both stable and variable environments, and also quantified the joint fitness consequences of bet-hedging and sperm competition. We believe that the study’s experimental design is sound, but that its statistical analysis was incorrect. Here, we reanalyse the raw data and find that all but one of the study’s results is consistent with the null hypothesis that polyandry does not provide benefits via bet-hedging, contrary to the original conclusions.

Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B: Biological Sciences