Sex roles in birds: Phylogenetic analyses of the influence of climate, life histories and social environment

Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer, Gavin H. Thomas, András Liker, Oliver Krüger, Jan Komdeur, Tamás Székely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Sex roles describe sex differences in courtship, mate competition, social pair-bonds and parental care. A key challenge is to identify associations among the components and the drivers of sex roles. Here, we investigate sex roles using data from over 1800 bird species. We found extensive variation and lability in proxies of sex roles, indicating remarkably independent evolution among sex role components. Climate and life history showed weak associations with sex roles. However, adult sex ratio is associated with sexual dimorphism, mating system and parental care, suggesting that social environment is central to explaining variation in sex roles among birds. Our results suggest that sex differences in reproductive behaviour are the result of diverse and idiosyncratic responses to selection. Further understanding of sex roles requires studies at the population level to test how local responses to ecology, life histories and mating opportunities drive processes that shape sex role variation among higher taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-660
Number of pages14
JournalEcology Letters
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by a Newton Advanced Fellowship (NA150257) from the Royal Society to AGV, hosted by TS, as well as by funding from the German Research Foundation (CRC TRR 212, DFG Mercator Professorship), and from the Dutch Scientific Foundation (NWO 040.11.481). We are grateful to Anna Krystalli, Natalie Brett, George Brooks, Elliot Capp, Gemma Charles, Noemie Engel, Gabriel E. García‐Peña, Samuel Hodge, Emma Hughes, Terje Lislevand, Amy Mapp, Luciana Nenegasso Rossi, Gina Raihani, Romy Rice, Martin Alejandro Serrano Meneses, Emily Stanbrook and Jenny White for their assistance in data collection, and to Ivette Pipoly and Miklós Bán for valuable assistance compiling the supplementary data table. AL was funded by a research grant (KH 130430) and by TKP2020‐IKA‐07 project financed under the 2020‐4.1.1‐TKP2020 Thematic Excellence Programme by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary. JK was funded by a research grant from the Dutch Science Council (NWO‐ALW; 823.01.014). OK was funded by the German Research Foundation as part of the SFB TRR 212 (NC3), Project number 396780809. TS was funded by the Royal Society (Wolfson Merit Award WM170050, APEX APX\R1\191045) and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (ÉLVONAL KKP‐126949, K‐116310). GHT was funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (UF120016 and URF\R\180006).

Funding Information:
This work was funded by a Newton Advanced Fellowship (NA150257) from the Royal Society to AGV, hosted by TS, as well as by funding from the German Research Foundation (CRC TRR 212, DFG Mercator Professorship), and from the Dutch Scientific Foundation (NWO 040.11.481). We are grateful to Anna Krystalli, Natalie Brett, George Brooks, Elliot Capp, Gemma Charles, Noemie Engel, Gabriel E. Garc?a-Pe?a, Samuel Hodge, Emma Hughes, Terje Lislevand, Amy Mapp, Luciana Nenegasso Rossi, Gina Raihani, Romy Rice, Martin Alejandro Serrano Meneses, Emily Stanbrook and Jenny White for their assistance in data collection, and to Ivette Pipoly and Mikl?s B?n for valuable assistance compiling the supplementary data table. AL was funded by a research grant (KH 130430) and by TKP2020-IKA-07 project financed under the 2020-4.1.1-TKP2020 Thematic Excellence Programme by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary. JK was funded by a research grant from the Dutch Science Council (NWO-ALW; 823.01.014). OK was funded by the German Research Foundation as part of the SFB TRR 212 (NC3), Project number 396780809. TS was funded by the Royal Society (Wolfson Merit Award WM170050, APEX APX\R1\191045) and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (?LVONAL KKP-126949, K-116310). GHT was funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (UF120016 and URF\R\180006).

Keywords

  • adult sex ratio
  • mating system
  • parental care
  • phylogenetic comparative methods
  • sexual dichromatism
  • sexual size dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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