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Data from: Climate, demography, and lek stability in an Amazonian bird

Cite this dataset

Ryder, Thomas B.; Sillett, T. Scott (2015). Data from: Climate, demography, and lek stability in an Amazonian bird [Dataset]. Dryad.


Lekking is a rare, but iconic mating system where polygynous males aggregate and perform group displays to attract females. Existing theory postulates that demographic and environmental stability are required for lekking to be an evolutionarily viable reproductive strategy. However, we lack empirical tests for the hypotheses that lek stability is facilitated by age-specific variation in demographic rates, and by predictable, abundant resources. To address this knowledge gap, we use multistate models to examine how two demographic elements of lek stability—male survival and recruitment—vary with age, social status and phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a Neotropical frugivorous bird, the wire-tailed manakin (Pipra filicauda). Our results show that demographic and environmental conditions were related to lek stability in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Apparent annual survival probability of territorial males was higher than that of non-territorial floaters, and recruitment probability increased as males progressed in an age-graded queue. Moreover, annual survival of territorial males and body condition of both floaters and territory holders were higher following years with El Niño conditions, associated with reduced rainfall and probably higher fruit production in the northern Neotropics, and lower after years with wet, La Niña conditions that predominated our study. Recruitment probabilities varied annually, independent of ENSO phase, and increased over our study period, but the annual mean number of territorial males per lek declined. Our results provide empirical support for hypothesized demographic and environmental drivers of lek dynamics. This study also suggests that climate-mediated changes in resource availability can affect demography and subsequent lek stability in a relatively buffered, lowland rainforest.

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