Lekking is classified as a form of male-dominance polygyny in which males lack control of resources essential for the acquisition of females. Of particular interest to behavioral ecologists has been the mechanistic basis of male spatial aggregation and the maintenance of site fidelity over time. The “hotspot” hypothesis has been proposed as both an ultimate and proximate mechanism by which males aggregate in locations where females are likely to be encountered. The hypothesis has been extended to include areas of the environment that act to constrain females’ use of space. Here, we test a prediction of this hypothesis for three species of manakins (Pipridae): that leks are located in places where fruit, the main food for these frugivorous birds, is plentiful. We compared four lek sites with four non-lek control sites of Golden-headed (Pipra erythrocephala), Wire-tailed (P. filicauda), and White-crowned (P. pipra) manakins in an Amazonian forest in Ecuador. Our results show that lek sites had higher fruit biomass than control sites. Moreover, lek sites had more plants bearing ripe fruit as well as a higher fruit biomass per plant than control sites. Thus, our results support the environmental hotspot hypothesis as an explanation for current lek site occupancy and suggest that fruit availability may also explain the placement of traditional manakin lekking sites. We also discuss a potential direct benefit for subordinate male manakins derived from the notion of central-place foraging and public information-sharing.
Una Prueba de la Hipótesis de que Puntos que Concentran Recursos Explican la Ubicación de las Asambleas de Cortejo en Tres Especies de Saltarines (Pipridae) en Ecuador