Females as mobile resources: communal roosts promote the adoption of lek breeding in a temperate bat

Toth, Cory A., Dennis, Todd E., Pattemore, David E., & Parsons, Stuart (2015) Females as mobile resources: communal roosts promote the adoption of lek breeding in a temperate bat. Behavioral Ecology, 26(4), pp. 1156-1163.

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Males of lek-breeding species defend clustered territories from which they display to visiting females. However, the mechanisms leading to the adoption of clustered male display sites are often unknown. In this study, we examined the possibility of a resource-based lek in New Zealand’s lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata) (Mammalia: Chiroptera), by assessing the placement of “singing roosts” used by males in relation to communal roosting sites used by females. The “resource-based lek” model posits that males settle near resources required by females to increase female encounter rates. For most bat species, where females are highly mobile and widely dispersed across landscapes while foraging, communal daytime roosts dominated by females may represent such a resource. Through use of video footage, spatial analyses of singing-roost locations, and passive-integrated transponder tags we confirmed that M. tuberculata employs a lek mating system. We found that male singing roosts were significantly clustered in space, were defended by resident individuals, and were visited by females (who did not receive resources from males) for mating purposes. Transponder records also indicated that some singing roosts were shared between multiple males. Spatial logistic regression indicated that singing-roost locations were associated with communal roosting sites. Communal roosts are selected based on criteria independent of the locations of singing roosts, suggesting that males responded to the location of communal roosts and not the reverse. Mystacina tuberculata thus provides evidence of a resource-based lek, and is only the second bat species worldwide confirmed to use a lek-mating system.

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ID Code: 86192
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Chiroptera, Lek evolution, Mystacina tuberculata, Resources, Roosting, Singing
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arv070
ISSN: 1045-2249
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2015 22:36
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2015 21:55

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