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Data from: Life history differences in age-dependent expressions of multiple ornaments and behaviors in a lekking bird

Citation

Kervinen, Matti et al. (2014), Data from: Life history differences in age-dependent expressions of multiple ornaments and behaviors in a lekking bird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rg8d4

Abstract

Age is a major factor explaining variation in life-history traits among individuals with typical patterns of increasing trait values early in life, maximum trait expression, and senescence. However, age-dependent variation in the expressions of sexually selected traits has received less attention, although such variation underpins differences in male competitive abilities and female preference, which are central to sexual selection. In contrast to previous studies focusing on single traits, we used repeated measures of seven sexually selected morphological and behavioral traits in male black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) to quantify the effects of age and life span on their expressions and quantified this variation in relation to male reproductive effort. Trait expression increased with age, but long-lived males had a slower increase and delayed maxima in trait values compared with short-lived males. There was evidence of terminal investment (increasing trait values during the last breeding season) in some traits and senescence in all traits. These trait dynamics were largely explained by the timing of male peak lekking effort. This study shows that fully understanding the variation in sexually selected traits and fitness benefits associated with sexual selection requires accounting for the complex interaction among individual age, life span, and the timing of individuals’ investment in reproduction.

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