Data from: Environmental variability and acoustic signals: A multilevel approach in songbirds
Medina, Iliana; Francis, Clinton D. (2012), Data from: Environmental variability and acoustic signals: A multilevel approach in songbirds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cj27s
Among songbirds, growing evidence suggests that acoustic adaptation of song traits occurs in response to habitat features. Despite extensive study, most research supporting acoustic adaptation has only considered acoustic traits averaged for species or populations, overlooking intraindividual variation of song traits, which may facilitate effective communication in heterogeneous and variable environments. Fewer studies have explicitly incorporated sexual selection, which, if strong, may favour variation across environments. Here, we evaluate the prevalence of acoustic adaptation among 44 species of songbirds by determining how environmental variability and sexual selection intensity are associated with song variability (intraindividual and instraspecific) and short-term song complexity. We show that variability in precipitation can explain short-term song complexity among taxonomically diverse songbirds and that precipitation seasonality and the intensity of sexual selection are related to intraindividual song variation. Our results link song complexity to environmental variability, something previously found for mockingbirds (family Mimidae). Perhaps more importantly, our results illustrate that individual variation in song traits may be shaped by both environmental variability and strength of sexual selection.