Behaviour 2019
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You are what you eat: connecting foraging and breeding behavior in lekking sage-grouse
Eric Tymstra1, Jennifer Forbey2, Gail Patricelli1. 1University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States; 2Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, United States

In economics, shop locations with greater sales opportunities also charge higher rents, requiring income and capital to join the marketplace. Males in lekking species face similar tradeoffs, as display territories with greater reproductive opportunities will also be the costliest to defend against rivals, requiring income and capital linked to dietary energy intake and physiology. Despite research on male success on leks, little is known about how male physiological condition and dietary quality affect lek settlement. We studied this relationship in lekking Greater sage-grouse, which feed on chemically-defended sagebrush during the breeding season. Males balance costs of mating and detoxifying sagebrush. To study the relationship between diet and lek position, we tracked mating behavior on leks and collected fecal from territories. Results thus far indicate that diet detoxification biomarkers vary inversely with lek territory quality, suggesting that males on higher-quality territories have lower-toxin diets and supports the prediction that males that pay higher rents select higher income diets. Future work will examine detailed off-lek foraging behavior with GPS-tagged males.