Limits...
Mate choice in adult female Bengalese finches: females express consistent preferences for individual males and prefer female-directed song performances.

Dunning JL, Pant S, Bass A, Coburn Z, Prather JF - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays.Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer.Together these findings reveal the nature of signal evaluation and mate choice in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program in Neuroscience, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
In the process of mate selection by female songbirds, male suitors advertise their quality through reproductive displays in which song plays an important role. Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays. Some studies reveal broad agreement among females in their preferences for specific signal characteristics, indicating that those features are especially salient in female mate choice. Other studies reveal that females differ in their preference for specific characteristics, indicating that in those cases female evaluation of signal quality is influenced by factors other than simply the physical properties of the signal. Thus, both the physical properties of male signals and specific traits of female signal evaluation can impact female mate choice. Here, we characterized the mate preferences of female Bengalese finches. We found that calls and copulation solicitation displays are equally reliable indicators of female preference. In response to songs from an array of males, each female expressed an individual-specific song preference, and those preferences were consistent across tests spanning many months. Across a population of females, songs of some males were more commonly preferred than others, and females preferred female-directed songs more than undirected songs, suggesting that some song features are broadly attractive. Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer. Analysis of song properties revealed several candidate parameters that may influence female evaluation. In an initial investigation of those parameters, females could be very selective for one song feature yet not selective for another. Therefore, multiple song parameters are evaluated independently. Together these findings reveal the nature of signal evaluation and mate choice in this species.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Calls are an index of female BF mate choice.Each female is represented by 3 data points (N = 12 birds, some points overlap) indicating the magnitude of its response to its most-preferred song (filled circles), its least-preferred song (open squares), and a randomly selected song of intermediate subjective value (filled triangles). Each of the three responses from each bird have been normalized to the total number of responses performed by that bird in response to all stimuli, so data are plotted as the percent of all CSDs (x-axis) and all calls (y-axis) that each bird performed in response to all stimuli. These data reveal good agreement between CSDs and calls (statistics detailed in the text), indicating that calls are a valid index of adult female BF mate choice.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3928452&req=5

pone-0089438-g003: Calls are an index of female BF mate choice.Each female is represented by 3 data points (N = 12 birds, some points overlap) indicating the magnitude of its response to its most-preferred song (filled circles), its least-preferred song (open squares), and a randomly selected song of intermediate subjective value (filled triangles). Each of the three responses from each bird have been normalized to the total number of responses performed by that bird in response to all stimuli, so data are plotted as the percent of all CSDs (x-axis) and all calls (y-axis) that each bird performed in response to all stimuli. These data reveal good agreement between CSDs and calls (statistics detailed in the text), indicating that calls are a valid index of adult female BF mate choice.

Mentions: When the same birds were tested in the absence of an estradiol implant, the birds did not express CSDs (Figure 2B), but song identity had a significant effect on calling (Figure 2D, Two-way ANOVA, F(2,35)  = 76.45 p < 0.001, N = 12 birds), the sequence of testing had no effect (F(1,35)  = 2.29, p = 0.14, N = 12 birds), and there was no significant interaction (F(1,2)  = 2.92, p = 0.07, N = 12 birds). Even without an estradiol implant, females called significantly more in response to the most-preferred song than in response to any other stimulus (Figure 2D, Tukey’s HSD, qs > 4.47 and p < 0.05 for both comparisons of most-preferred song type versus other song types, N = 12 birds). Therefore, the most-preferred song is also easily identified by counting the number of calls that the female produces during song playback. To further investigate the relation between CSDs and calls, we compared the percentage of each bird’s total number of CSDs versus the percentage of each bird’s total number of calls that were evoked by each of the most-preferred, least-preferred and intermediately-preferred song types, and we found good agreement between these measures (Figure 3, Spearman rank correlation coefficient, rs = 0.82, p < 0.01, N = 12 birds). Together, these data establish a link between mate choice and the expression of calls in response to song presentation. In the remaining experiments, we used calls to quantify each female bird’s mate preference.


Mate choice in adult female Bengalese finches: females express consistent preferences for individual males and prefer female-directed song performances.

Dunning JL, Pant S, Bass A, Coburn Z, Prather JF - PLoS ONE (2014)

Calls are an index of female BF mate choice.Each female is represented by 3 data points (N = 12 birds, some points overlap) indicating the magnitude of its response to its most-preferred song (filled circles), its least-preferred song (open squares), and a randomly selected song of intermediate subjective value (filled triangles). Each of the three responses from each bird have been normalized to the total number of responses performed by that bird in response to all stimuli, so data are plotted as the percent of all CSDs (x-axis) and all calls (y-axis) that each bird performed in response to all stimuli. These data reveal good agreement between CSDs and calls (statistics detailed in the text), indicating that calls are a valid index of adult female BF mate choice.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3928452&req=5

pone-0089438-g003: Calls are an index of female BF mate choice.Each female is represented by 3 data points (N = 12 birds, some points overlap) indicating the magnitude of its response to its most-preferred song (filled circles), its least-preferred song (open squares), and a randomly selected song of intermediate subjective value (filled triangles). Each of the three responses from each bird have been normalized to the total number of responses performed by that bird in response to all stimuli, so data are plotted as the percent of all CSDs (x-axis) and all calls (y-axis) that each bird performed in response to all stimuli. These data reveal good agreement between CSDs and calls (statistics detailed in the text), indicating that calls are a valid index of adult female BF mate choice.
Mentions: When the same birds were tested in the absence of an estradiol implant, the birds did not express CSDs (Figure 2B), but song identity had a significant effect on calling (Figure 2D, Two-way ANOVA, F(2,35)  = 76.45 p < 0.001, N = 12 birds), the sequence of testing had no effect (F(1,35)  = 2.29, p = 0.14, N = 12 birds), and there was no significant interaction (F(1,2)  = 2.92, p = 0.07, N = 12 birds). Even without an estradiol implant, females called significantly more in response to the most-preferred song than in response to any other stimulus (Figure 2D, Tukey’s HSD, qs > 4.47 and p < 0.05 for both comparisons of most-preferred song type versus other song types, N = 12 birds). Therefore, the most-preferred song is also easily identified by counting the number of calls that the female produces during song playback. To further investigate the relation between CSDs and calls, we compared the percentage of each bird’s total number of CSDs versus the percentage of each bird’s total number of calls that were evoked by each of the most-preferred, least-preferred and intermediately-preferred song types, and we found good agreement between these measures (Figure 3, Spearman rank correlation coefficient, rs = 0.82, p < 0.01, N = 12 birds). Together, these data establish a link between mate choice and the expression of calls in response to song presentation. In the remaining experiments, we used calls to quantify each female bird’s mate preference.

Bottom Line: Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays.Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer.Together these findings reveal the nature of signal evaluation and mate choice in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program in Neuroscience, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
In the process of mate selection by female songbirds, male suitors advertise their quality through reproductive displays in which song plays an important role. Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays. Some studies reveal broad agreement among females in their preferences for specific signal characteristics, indicating that those features are especially salient in female mate choice. Other studies reveal that females differ in their preference for specific characteristics, indicating that in those cases female evaluation of signal quality is influenced by factors other than simply the physical properties of the signal. Thus, both the physical properties of male signals and specific traits of female signal evaluation can impact female mate choice. Here, we characterized the mate preferences of female Bengalese finches. We found that calls and copulation solicitation displays are equally reliable indicators of female preference. In response to songs from an array of males, each female expressed an individual-specific song preference, and those preferences were consistent across tests spanning many months. Across a population of females, songs of some males were more commonly preferred than others, and females preferred female-directed songs more than undirected songs, suggesting that some song features are broadly attractive. Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer. Analysis of song properties revealed several candidate parameters that may influence female evaluation. In an initial investigation of those parameters, females could be very selective for one song feature yet not selective for another. Therefore, multiple song parameters are evaluated independently. Together these findings reveal the nature of signal evaluation and mate choice in this species.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus