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Data from: Age, condition and dominance-related sexual ornament size before and during the breeding season in the black grouse Lyrurus tetrix

Citation

Harris, Sarah et al. (2018), Data from: Age, condition and dominance-related sexual ornament size before and during the breeding season in the black grouse Lyrurus tetrix, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.55304br

Abstract

Male ornaments function as honest cues of male quality in many species and are subject to intra- and intersexual selection. These ornaments are generally studied during peak expression, however their size outside the breeding season may determine ultimate ornament size and costliness, and as such reproductive success. We investigated whether male black grouse Lyrurus tetrix eye comb size was related to age, condition and measures of male dominance before and during the breeding season. Total combined eye comb size began to increase ~70 days before the start of the breeding season. Adult males (aged ≥ 2 years old) had consistently larger eye combs than younger males (1 year old) both before and during the breeding season. Heavier and more dominant adult males (attending the lek more frequently and successfully reproducing) had larger eye combs. For younger males, those that were heavier had larger eye combs. Additionally, males that spent more time on the lek showed increased eye comb size as the breeding season approached. Overall we find that ornament size is positively related to dominance and condition before and during the breeding season. Since dominance is accrued through year-round interactions in many species, the ability to maintain larger signals over prolonged periods,

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