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Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    The evolution of leks--clusters of small territories where males congregate and display in order to attract mates--is of central issue in behavioral ecology, because of the insights it offers into female mate choice, sexual selection, and the evolution of mating systems. In the first book on the subject, Jacob Höglund and Rauno Alatalo draw together existing knowledge on two main aspects of lekking. Why do leks evolve in some species and not in others? Why do females of certain lekking species select their mates even though such behavior reaps few or no material benefits for them? In each case they emphasize the importance of understanding the selective forces that act on individuals in natural populations.

    Höglund and Alatalo synthesize the available information on lekking in all animal groups and suggest new areas of research.

    Originally published in 1995.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6415-7
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VIII)
  3. List of Drawings at Part Openings
    (pp. IX-X)
  4. Preface
    (pp. XI-XIV)
  5. PART I Leks and Their Taxonomic Occurrence

    • 1 What Are Leks?
      (pp. 3-22)

      Some animals, such as the black grouse, mate in arenas, or so-called leks. The terms “lek” and “lekking behavior” were first used for the mating arenas of birds (L. Lloyd 1867), but more or less similar mating aggregations occur in a wide variety of taxa (chapter 2). The main attribute of leks is that the males are aggregated in one area and display close together. On a typical black grouse lek in Fenno-Scandia, 2–25 males display next to one another, and territory sizes of the central males are on the order of 10 x 10 m. The distances between...

    • 2 A Taxonomic Overview
      (pp. 23-48)

      In this chapter we review the taxonomic occurrence of leks. What is a Lekking species? Mating systems can be seen as the result of behavior of individuals in a population. As we will stress in chapter 9, different populations of the same species can have different mating systems. Moreover, the same population of a given species can change mating systems when conditions change. Finally, different individuals within a population can show differences in mating tactics, conditional on a number of factors such as size, age, and phenotypic quality. Therefore the mating system of the population will be a compromise of...

  6. PART II Sexual Selection

    • 3 Determinants of Male Mating Success
      (pp. 51-91)

      The study of sexual selection in lekking species has received considerable attention during the last decades (see reviews in Balmford 1990, Harvey and Bradbury 1991, Wiley 1991). Interest in this kind of research has to a large extent been motivated by the assumptions that female choice of particular kinds of males is the major cause of nonrandom mating in males and that the choice of females is based on male characters that are not related to immediate fitness gains such as access to resources and paternal care. In this chapter and the next we will challenge these premises—not so...

    • 4 Female Mating Adaptations
      (pp. 92-121)

      Until recently, studies of sexual selection on leks have focused on males. The question being asked has preferentially been the following: Is the variation in male mating success nonrandom, and if so are successful males in any way different from unsuccessful ones? Much attention has been directed toward identifying possible traits that identify males with high mating success. Not until recently has the interest shifted also to include variation in female behavior.

      In the previous chapter we reviewed the evidence of sexual selection in lekking species. We concluded that although conclusive experimental evidence for female choice exists only in a...

    • 5 Black Grouse: A Case Study
      (pp. 122-136)

      As reviewed above, detailed studies of leks have indicated that morphological, spatial, and behavioral traits can be related to male mating success. In some cases these relationships have been confirmed experimentally, indicating that sexual selection is operating directly on the trait in question. In reality, many male traits are likely to be targets of sexual selection and many others are influenced because of their correlation with the selected traits. In this chapter we will summarize the information on sexual selection in male black grouse, a lekking system that has been studied extensively by us (together with Arne Lundberg and Pekka...

    • 6 Comparative Studies
      (pp. 137-148)

      The alternative to direct observation and experimentation to obtain evidence of sexual selection on leks is by means of comparative methods (Harvey and Bradbury 1991). Many workers have postulated a relationship between lekking and sexual dimorphism (e.g., Darwin 1871, Lack 1968, Payne 1984). There are, however, few rigorous tests of this relationship. A few attempts have nevertheless been made in testing whether lekking birds in general show sexual dimorphism in size and plumage characters and have reached different conclusions. In this chapter we review such studies.

      Postulating a relationship between lekking and sexual dimorphism assumes that lekking is a common...

  7. PART III Lek Evolution

    • 7 A Review of Hypotheses
      (pp. 151-174)

      Though leks have evolved, they are not adaptations. Adaptations evolve because the genes for the trait have been favored by natural and/or sexual selection. Leks are the outcome of the behavior of many individuals in a population, and these behaviors are selected to maximize reproductive success at the level of the individual. Selection does not work directly on the mating system but on the behaviors that determine a mating system, for example on the genes that determine tendencies to join aggregations of other displaying males; when reviewing hypotheses on the evolution of leks, it is important to remember this. Leks...

    • 8 Intraspecific Variation
      (pp. 175-183)

      There is a long tradition in animal ecology of using interspecific comparisons to understand the variation in and evolution of animal mating patterns (e.g., Crook 1964, Emlen and Oring 1977, Clutton-Brock 1989). The basic approach has been to look for similarities in ecology that may explain similarities in mating systems across different species. While using this approach, animal mating systems have often been regarded as relatively static and species specific. However, recent studies of many animals have revealed a plasticity in the mating systems within the same species, suggesting that different selection pressures may shape different optimal mating behaviors in...

    • 9 Game Theory Models of Leks
      (pp. 184-198)

      Neo-Darwinian doctrine states that all individuals are selected to behave in order to maximize their reproductive success. In doing so they have to compete with other members of the same species and overcome the problems of finding food and avoiding enemies. In many species, including the lekking ones, much of the variance in male lifetime reproductive success comes from variation in the number of females inseminated. When trying to mate with as many females as possible, males face problems of mate acquisition. More specifically, they have to solve problems of how, when, and where to search for mates. Thus an...

  8. PART IV Conclusions

    • 10 Concluding Remarks and Prospects for Future Studies
      (pp. 201-208)

      In any imaginary species, what are the factors that will lead it to mate on leks, and how do these factors relate to the models we have outlined? The problem in all empirical biology is that in explaining an observed phenomenon, in this case a mating aggregation, we have to make inferences based on our observations. Thus we have to interpret our often sketchy knowledge and make guesses about the mechanisms we think caused the population under study to lek. In theory there can be a range of mechanisms that lead to superficially similar behavior. In a theoretical model we...

  9. References
    (pp. 209-238)
  10. Author Index
    (pp. 239-245)
  11. Subject and Species Index
    (pp. 246-248)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 249-249)