April 28 2009

12:00 BSRB 154

Renata Dures
UCLA Center for Tropical Research

The paradox of the lek is dead: long live the paradox of the lek!


Lek-breeding is a rare mating system that has evolved repeatedly across many animal lineages. Despite decades of research, lekking still challenges our evolutionary thinking. First, although females do not receive any critical material resources from males, they often show high skew in mating preferences. This suggests a prevalence of indirect benefits, but empirical evidence for this is scarce. Second, reproductive skew increases costs of aggregation for most males. This implies counterbalancing benefits for males that join leks, but in most cases these have yet to be identified. I investigated potential benefits of lekking behavior for both males and females of the blue-crowned manakin (Lepidothrix coronata, Pipridae), a Neotropical lekking bird. I found no strong evidence that males enjoy increased mating success by joining leks, and no evidence for indirect benefits for males (through kin selection) or females (through selection of genetically superior mates). Although multiple alternative hypotheses remain to be tested, this study adds to a growing body of research that failed to find satisfying explanations for how this unusual mating system can evolve and be maintained.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: