Phenotypic divergence of secondary sexual traits among sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, populations

Animal Behaviour
By: , and 

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Abstract

Sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, in an isolated montane basin near Gunnison, Colorado differ in several morphological and behavioural traits from conspecifics studied in other areas of the species' range. Both sexes in Gunnison are smaller than sage grouse elsewhere, and males possess differences in feather morphology as well. The mating behaviour of male sage grouse in three populations was examined to determine whether male strut displays of Gunnison sage grouse were behaviourally distinct. Behavioural analyses revealed Gunnison males perform strut displays at a slower rate than males in the two other sage grouse populations sampled. In addition, Gunnison males' strut displays contain unique visual and acoustical aspects. The most distinguishing attributes of Gunnison sage grouse were male secondary sexual characteristics including traits that correlate with mating success in other populations. Thus, phenotypic differences observed in the Gunnison population represent a divergence in expression of traits that are likely to be influenced by sexual selection. Recent models of speciation suggest that species characterized by intense sexual selection, such as those with lek mating systems, have the potential for rapid inter-populational divergence in male traits and female preferences leading to speciation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Phenotypic divergence of secondary sexual traits among sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, populations
Series title Animal Behaviour
DOI 10.1006/anbe.1994.1183
Volume 37
Issue 6
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 1353
Last page 1362
Country United States
State Colorado
City Gunnison
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