Environmental correlates and geographic spacing of leks were compared for six species of manakins (Pipridae) on two 100-ha study plots in eastern Ecuador. The “hotspot” hypothesis of lek evolution suggests that males should aggregate where females are most likely to be encountered. For ecologically similar species that co-occur at a site, leks are predicted to be clustered in space and, thus, to overlap in macroscale environmental characteristics. The geographic spacing and environmental characteristics of lek sites we observed were inconsistent with the hotspot hypothesis for lek evolution. In general, little geographic overlap occurred among leks, and geographic spacing of leks among heterospecifics more closely fit a regular than a clumped pattern. Further, environmental conditions of leks varied among species with respect to elevation and topography. Leks of some species were more likely to occur on hilltops or ridge tops (e.g., Machaeropterus regulus, Pipra erythrocephala), whereas others appeared to prefer highly dissected drainages (e.g., P. pipra), relatively flat terrain near streams (e.g., Chiroxiphia pareola), or seasonally inundated forests (e.g., P. filicauda). Using randomly placed leks, we found evidence that certain lek environments may be limited, which is consistent with observed levels of population abundances on the two plots. Such environmental limits may constrain lek placement and size. Further study is needed to determine the reproductive implications of placing leks in apparently suboptimal environments, though such compromises may reflect males making the best of a bad situation.
Segregación Ambiental y Espacial de las Asambleas de Cortejo Entre Seis Especies Simpátricas de Saltarines (Pipridae) en el Oriente de Ecuador