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How general is a female mating preference for clustered males in lekking species? a meta-analysis

Isvaran, Kavita and Ponkshe, Aditya (2013) How general is a female mating preference for clustered males in lekking species? a meta-analysis. In: Animal Behaviour, 86 (2). pp. 417-425.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.05.036


A principal hypothesis for the evolution of leks (rare and intensely competitive territorial aggregations) is that leks result from females preferring to mate with clustered males. This hypothesis predicts more female visits and higher mating success per male on larger leks. Evidence for and against this hypothesis has been presented by different studies, primarily of individual populations, but its generality has not yet been formally investigated. We took a meta-analytical approach towards formally examining the generality of such a female bias in lekking species. Using available published data and using female visits as an index of female mating bias, we estimated the shape of the relationship between lek size and total female visits to a lek, female visits per lekking male and, where available, per capita male mating success. Individual analyses showed that female visits generally increased with lek size across the majority of taxa surveyed; the meta-analysis indicated that this relationship with lek size was disproportionately positive. The findings from analysing per capita female visits were mixed, with an increase with lek size detected in half of the species, which were, however, widely distributed taxonomically. Taken together, these findings suggest that a female bias for clustered males may be a general process across lekking species. Nevertheless, the substantial variation seen in these relationships implies that other processes are also important. Analyses of per capita copulation success suggested that, more generally, increased per capita mating benefits may be an important selective factor in lek maintenance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords: Female Mating Preference; Lek; Meta-Analysis
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Francis Jayakanth
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2013 08:36
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 08:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/47401

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