Fc F

Light environment codes

Fc: forest shade, sun blocked by clou ds F: forest shade, sunny S: small gaps, sunny L: large gaps, sunny W: woodland shade

Light environments used during displays

Light environments available but not used

Light environments rare in the study area

Light environment

Figure 7 Display site selection by a neotropical forest-dwelling, lekking bird species, the cock-of-the-rock Rupicola rupicola. Forests exhibit a mosaic of spectral environments arising from both vegetation cover and weather. Males display to females both in sunny forest shade (F) and small gaps (S), and these two spectral environments show the highest percentage difference (F taken as standard, indicated by a star) with respect to chroma and hue angle for each male color plumage element (shoulder, chest, wing, etc.). Cock-of-the-rock males therefore select for displaying the two light environments that illuminate different parts of their plumage and maximize the visual contrast during displays. From Endler JA and Thery M (1996) Interacting effects of lek placement, display behaviour, ambient light, and color patterns in three neotropical forest-dwelling birds. American Naturalist 148: 421-452.

false information; also, phenotype- or genotype-environment interactions should be limited.

4. Integrative power of the cue, which should be closely related to fitness, is another factor.

5. Easiness of cue assessment, that is, costs of acquiring or gathering information, which depend on (a) direct costs of sampling the environment (e.g., reduced survival due to predation or aggressive interactions) and (b) indirect costs (e.g., time lost in sampling and not used for other activities), is also factored in.

Subsequent costs may also be paid through competition between individuals using the same information and thus making the same choice. The costs (and thus the value of information) will depend on both species biology and spatiotemporal environmental variation of habitat quality, for example, individuals' mobility, length of the breeding period, and synchronization of breeding events among and within patches. In conclusion, the value of information will depend on the balance of information-gathering costs and benefits gained from its use.

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