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Data from: Interpopulation variation in a condition-dependent signal: predation regime affects signal intensity and reliability

Citation

Giery, Sean Thomas; Layman, Craig Anthony (2015), Data from: Interpopulation variation in a condition-dependent signal: predation regime affects signal intensity and reliability, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.977p1

Abstract

In many models of sexual selection, conspicuous ornaments are preferred by mates because they indicate heritable signaler viability. To function as indicators, ornaments must exhibit a proportional relationship between expression and viability. In cases where the evolutionary interests of signaler and receiver diverge, selection favors exploitative exaggeration by low-viability individuals producing unreliable signals. Theory suggests that the evolutionary stability of such communication systems requires costs that prevent low-viability males from expressing disproportionately intense signals. Therefore, given ecological variation in signaling cost, the reliability of signaling systems will vary concomitantly. In this study, we assess the effect of a variable signal cost, predation, on signal intensity and reliability among 16 populations of Bahamas mosquitofish (Gambusia hubbsi) that use colorful dorsal fins in courtship displays. We found that fin coloration was more intense in low-predation sites and could be used to predict body condition. However, this predictive relationship was apparent only in populations subject to predation risk. We demonstrate an important role for ecological signaling cost in communication and show that ecological heterogeneity drives interpopulation variation in both the intensity and the reliability of a sexual signal.

Usage Notes

Location

The Bahamas
Caribbean