Patterns of relatedness among males attending leks can provide insights into how this reproductive behavior has evolved. Past research on birds has found that lekking males show either elevated levels of relatedness, supporting a mechanism based on kin selection, or a lack of relatedness, supporting a direct-benefits mechanism. We show that males attending Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) leks exhibit a third pattern, with leks consisting of mixtures of related and unrelated individuals. Kinship analyses of males sampled from 13 leks in three local populations showed that close male relatives (r = 0.5) were present, but only at half the leks sampled. Analysis of male relatedness among leks in each local population showed that overall levels of relatedness were not significantly different between males from the same lek and those at different leks and that no isolation-by-distance relationships were present. We argue that these patterns are most parsimoniously explained as a byproduct of limited dispersal rather than as direct selection operating via reproductive behavior to produce specific patterns of relatedness among lek attendees.
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Vol. 126 • No. 1