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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Mating opportunities and energetic constraints drive variation in age-dependent sexual signalling
Author(s): Houslay, Thomas
Houslay, Kirsty F
Rapkin, James
Hunt, John
Bussiere, Luc
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Keywords: condition dependence
life history
phenotypic plasticity
sexual selection
Issue Date: Mar-2017
Citation: Houslay T, Houslay KF, Rapkin J, Hunt J & Bussiere L (2017) Mating opportunities and energetic constraints drive variation in age-dependent sexual signalling, Functional Ecology, 31 (3), pp. 728-741.
Abstract: * When males repeatedly produce energetically expensive sexual signals, trade-offs between current and future investment can cause plasticity in age-dependent signalling. Such variation is often interpreted as alternate adaptive strategies: live fast and die young vs. slow and steady.  * An alternative (yet rarely tested) explanation is that condition-dependent constraints on allocation cause variation in signalling with age (‘late bloomers’ do not have early investment options). Testing this hypothesis is challenging because resource acquisition and allocation are difficult to measure, and energetic reserves both affect and are affected by reproductive effort.  * We simultaneously manipulated acquisition (through dietary nutrition) and access to potential mates (as a proxy for manipulating sexual trait allocation) in male decorated crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus), while measuring age- and signalling effort-mediated changes in energy storage components.  * Increased diet quality caused increased signalling effort and energy storage, while access to females increased both the likelihood of and time spent signalling. Males with lower resource budgets signalled less, but still suffered energetic storage loss and viability costs.  * Our results suggest that energetic constraints, rather than strategic resource accumulation, reduced signalling levels in males with lower resource acquisition ability. Our findings imply a non-adaptive explanation for age-dependent variation in sexual signalling, and an important role for energetic constraints in maintaining the honesty of costly behavioural displays.
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Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ouslay, T. M., Houslay, K. F., Rapkin, J., Hunt, J. and Bussière, L. F. (2017), Mating opportunities and energetic constraints drive variation in age-dependent sexual signalling. Funct Ecol, 31: 728–741, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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