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Data from: The maintenance of phenotypic divergence through sexual selection: an experimental study in barn swallows Hirundo rustica

Citation

Safran, Rebecca et al. (2022), Data from: The maintenance of phenotypic divergence through sexual selection: an experimental study in barn swallows Hirundo rustica, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5865f

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that sexual signals can rapidly diverge among closely related species. However, we lack experimental studies to demonstrate that differences in trait-associated reproductive performance maintain sexual trait differences between closely related populations, in support for a role of sexual selection in speciation. Populations of Northern Hemisphere distributed barn swallows Hirundo rustica are closely related, yet differ in two plumage-based traits: ventral color and length of the outermost tail feathers (streamers). Here we provide experimental evidence that manipulations of these traits result in different reproductive consequences in two subspecies of barn swallow: (H. r. erythrogaster in North America and H. r. transitiva in the East Mediterranean). Experimental results in Colorado, USA, demonstrate that males with (1) darkened ventral coloration and (2) shortened streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. In contrast, exaggeration of both traits improved reproductive performance within H. r. transitiva in Israel: males with a combination treatment of darkened ventral coloration and elongated streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. Collectively, these experimental results fill an important gap in our understanding for how divergent sexual selection maintains phenotype differentiation in closely related populations, an important aspect of the speciation process.

Methods

Details about data collection and analysis are contained in the methods section of the manuscript.

In the recently uploaded file containing Colorado data [Colorado 2009 with residuals.xlsx] we place two additional comments containing data from residuals taken from a regression of paternity changes over initial paternity (for both proportion of own young within a brood and for initial number of extra-pair young). 

Usage Notes

Location

United States
Israel