Data from: Transcontinental latitudinal variation in song performance and complexity in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon)
Kaluthota, Chinthaka; Brinkman, Benjamin E.; dos Santos, Ednei B.; Rendall, Drew (2016), Data from: Transcontinental latitudinal variation in song performance and complexity in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nv33s
There is growing interest in latitudinal effects on animal behavior and life-history. One recent focus is on birdsong which is hypothesized to be more elaborated or complex in the north temperate zone compared to the tropics. Current evidence is mixed and based on cross-species comparisons, or single species with restricted distributions. We circumvent these limitations using a transcontinental sample of 358 songs from House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) at 281 locations spanning more than 100O of latitude (52 O N - 55 O S) across the Americas. We found a significant latitudinal gradient in several basic elements of song performance and complexity between north temperate and tropical populations. Further, we document convergence in song patterns between populations at higher latitudes in the northern and southern hemispheres. Effects were strongest for the number of elements in a song, and the rate of element production, both increasing towards the poles, with similar but weaker effects for other song dimensions (e.g., number of unique elements, trills, and trill rate). We consider possible causes related to variable habitats and morphology, concluding that the shorter breeding seasons at higher latitudes in both hemispheres may favor greater song elaboration to mediate territory competition and mate choice.