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Song type sharing and territory tenure in eastern song sparrows: implications for the evolution of song repertoires
 

Summary: Song type sharing and territory tenure in eastern song sparrows:
implications for the evolution of song repertoires
MELISSA HUGHES*, RINDY C. ANDERSON, WILLIAM A. SEARCY, LAURIE M. BOTTENSEK*
& STEPHEN NOWICKI
*Department of Biology, College of Charleston
yDepartment of Biology, University of Miami
zDepartment of Biology, Duke University
(Received 12 May 2006; initial acceptance 15 August 2006;
final acceptance 28 September 2006; published online 23 March 2007; MS. number: A10445)
Song repertoires are thought to have evolved by sexual selection, with larger repertoires being advanta-
geous in both female choice and territory defence. While most hypotheses of repertoire evolution treat dif-
ferent song types as functionally equal, an alternative hypothesis is that song repertoires evolved to allow
song sharing with multiple neighbours. In support of this hypothesis, song sparrows, Melospiza melodia,
share high proportions of their repertoires with territorial neighbours in at least three west coast popula-
tions in North America, and song sharing is correlated with a territorial advantage in at least two of these.
We studied song sharing and territory tenure in an east coast population of song sparrows in North Amer-
ica in which song sharing is significantly less common. We found no evidence for a territorial advantage of
whole song sharing in our population. We also found no evidence for a territorial advantage for partial
song sharing, even though partial song sharing is as common in our population as whole song sharing
is in the west coast populations. Population demographics (such as annual survival and territory density)

  

Source: Anderson, Rindy C. - Department of Biology, Duke University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine