Fine-scale genetic structuring on Manacus manacus leks

L Shorey, S Piertney, J Stone, J Hoglund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Citations (Scopus)


Leks have traditionally been considered as arenas where males compete to attract females and secure matings. Thus, direct fitness benefits mediated through competition between males to fertilize females have been considered to be the primary force driving the evolution of lekking behaviour(1,2). Inclusive fitness benefits mediated through kin selection(3) may also be involved in lek formation and evolution(4,5), but to date this theory has been largely ignored. According to kin-selection theory, both reproducing and non-reproducing males may gain indirect inclusive fitness benefits. If females are attracted to larger leks, non-reproducing males add attractiveness to a lek, and therefore, in a genetically structured population, boost the reproductive success of kin. Theory predicts that the attractiveness of leks is plastic, and that males establish themselves on a lek in which the top male, in terms of reproductive success, is a close relative(6). Here we show that in white-bearded manakins (Manacus manacus), for which larger leks are more attractive to females(7,8) and so secure the maximum number of matings, there is extraordinary fine-scale genetic structure, with leks being composed of clusters of related kin. We propose that males establish themselves where they rnd relatives to such an extent that they form groups within leks, and that such behaviour is consistent with kin-selection theory to maximize reproductive success of the group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-353
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2000




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