Colder ambient temperatures constrain female mate preference for
AbstractMale ornamentation is usually costly and may show trades-offs with other
life-history traits such as paternal care, which can subsequently affect
female preference. Studies on female mate choice have mostly examined
how mate-choice cues differ in their expression or ability to be
detected in different environmental contexts. However, less focus has
been placed on examining how external forces affect female preferences.
The purpose of this study was to explore how parental investment
strategy and mate choice were mediated by ambient temperature.
Specifically, we examined how male ornamentation characteristics and
subsequent female incubation investment were impacted by ambient
temperature in four plover populations that were breeding across an
environmental gradient. We discovered that larger males had more
ornamented plumage in warmer conditions, and they were favored by larger
females who invested an elevated time into incubation. In contrast, in
cooler conditions, males' body size and the color of their ornaments
were inversely associated, and females showed weak preference for males
with more colorful ornaments. These results imply that female preference
for male ornament can change in response to ambient temperature and
demonstrate that female preference for male ornamentation may be limited
in harsher conditions with higher parental care expenses.
06 Sep 2023
06 Sep 2023
08 Nov 2023