Ecological gradient of sexual selection: Elevation and song elaboration in finches

Emilie C. Snell-Rood, Alexander Badyaev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological gradients in natural and sexual selection often result in evolutionary diversification of morphological, life history, and behavioral traits. In particular, elevational changes in habitat structure and climate not only covary with intensity of sexual selection in many taxa, but may also influence evolution of mating signals. Here we examined variation in courtship song in relation to elevation of breeding across cardueline finches-a subfamily of birds that occupies the widest elevational range of extant birds and shows extensive variation in life histories and sexual selection along this range. We predicted that decrease in sexual selection intensity with elevation of breeding documented in this clade would result in a corresponding evolutionary reduction in elaboration of courtship songs. We controlled for the effects of phylogeny, morphology, and habitat structure to uncover a predicted elevational decline in courtship song elaboration; species breeding at lower elevations sang more elaborated and louder songs compared to their sister species breeding at higher elevations. In addition, lower elevation species had longer songs with more notes, whereas frequency components of song did not vary with elevation. We suggest that changes in sexual selection account for the observed patterns of song variation and discuss how elevational gradient in sexual selection may facilitate divergence in mating signals potentially reinforcing or promoting speciation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalOecologia
Volume157
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Fingerprint

song
sexual selection
animal communication
courtship
breeding
habitat structure
life history
bird
selection intensity
birds
habitats
natural selection
phylogeny
divergence
climate

Keywords

  • Bird song
  • Cardueline finches
  • Environmental gradient
  • Sexual selection
  • Speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Ecological gradient of sexual selection : Elevation and song elaboration in finches. / Snell-Rood, Emilie C.; Badyaev, Alexander.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 157, No. 3, 09.2008, p. 545-551.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{61772997288847e6b27d171cafadaffd,
title = "Ecological gradient of sexual selection: Elevation and song elaboration in finches",
abstract = "Ecological gradients in natural and sexual selection often result in evolutionary diversification of morphological, life history, and behavioral traits. In particular, elevational changes in habitat structure and climate not only covary with intensity of sexual selection in many taxa, but may also influence evolution of mating signals. Here we examined variation in courtship song in relation to elevation of breeding across cardueline finches-a subfamily of birds that occupies the widest elevational range of extant birds and shows extensive variation in life histories and sexual selection along this range. We predicted that decrease in sexual selection intensity with elevation of breeding documented in this clade would result in a corresponding evolutionary reduction in elaboration of courtship songs. We controlled for the effects of phylogeny, morphology, and habitat structure to uncover a predicted elevational decline in courtship song elaboration; species breeding at lower elevations sang more elaborated and louder songs compared to their sister species breeding at higher elevations. In addition, lower elevation species had longer songs with more notes, whereas frequency components of song did not vary with elevation. We suggest that changes in sexual selection account for the observed patterns of song variation and discuss how elevational gradient in sexual selection may facilitate divergence in mating signals potentially reinforcing or promoting speciation.",
keywords = "Bird song, Cardueline finches, Environmental gradient, Sexual selection, Speciation",
author = "Snell-Rood, {Emilie C.} and Alexander Badyaev",
year = "2008",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1007/s00442-008-1092-0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "157",
pages = "545--551",
journal = "Oecologia",
issn = "0029-8549",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ecological gradient of sexual selection

T2 - Elevation and song elaboration in finches

AU - Snell-Rood, Emilie C.

AU - Badyaev, Alexander

PY - 2008/9

Y1 - 2008/9

N2 - Ecological gradients in natural and sexual selection often result in evolutionary diversification of morphological, life history, and behavioral traits. In particular, elevational changes in habitat structure and climate not only covary with intensity of sexual selection in many taxa, but may also influence evolution of mating signals. Here we examined variation in courtship song in relation to elevation of breeding across cardueline finches-a subfamily of birds that occupies the widest elevational range of extant birds and shows extensive variation in life histories and sexual selection along this range. We predicted that decrease in sexual selection intensity with elevation of breeding documented in this clade would result in a corresponding evolutionary reduction in elaboration of courtship songs. We controlled for the effects of phylogeny, morphology, and habitat structure to uncover a predicted elevational decline in courtship song elaboration; species breeding at lower elevations sang more elaborated and louder songs compared to their sister species breeding at higher elevations. In addition, lower elevation species had longer songs with more notes, whereas frequency components of song did not vary with elevation. We suggest that changes in sexual selection account for the observed patterns of song variation and discuss how elevational gradient in sexual selection may facilitate divergence in mating signals potentially reinforcing or promoting speciation.

AB - Ecological gradients in natural and sexual selection often result in evolutionary diversification of morphological, life history, and behavioral traits. In particular, elevational changes in habitat structure and climate not only covary with intensity of sexual selection in many taxa, but may also influence evolution of mating signals. Here we examined variation in courtship song in relation to elevation of breeding across cardueline finches-a subfamily of birds that occupies the widest elevational range of extant birds and shows extensive variation in life histories and sexual selection along this range. We predicted that decrease in sexual selection intensity with elevation of breeding documented in this clade would result in a corresponding evolutionary reduction in elaboration of courtship songs. We controlled for the effects of phylogeny, morphology, and habitat structure to uncover a predicted elevational decline in courtship song elaboration; species breeding at lower elevations sang more elaborated and louder songs compared to their sister species breeding at higher elevations. In addition, lower elevation species had longer songs with more notes, whereas frequency components of song did not vary with elevation. We suggest that changes in sexual selection account for the observed patterns of song variation and discuss how elevational gradient in sexual selection may facilitate divergence in mating signals potentially reinforcing or promoting speciation.

KW - Bird song

KW - Cardueline finches

KW - Environmental gradient

KW - Sexual selection

KW - Speciation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=49249134046&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=49249134046&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00442-008-1092-0

DO - 10.1007/s00442-008-1092-0

M3 - Article

C2 - 18607634

AN - SCOPUS:49249134046

VL - 157

SP - 545

EP - 551

JO - Oecologia

JF - Oecologia

SN - 0029-8549

IS - 3

ER -