Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias

Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar, Shinichi Nakagawa, Moisès Sánchez-Fortún, Dominic A. Martin, Sukanya Ramani, Antje Girndt, V. Bókony, Bart Kempenaers, A. Likér, David F. Westneat, Terry Burke, Julia Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The status signalling hypothesis aims to explain within-species variation in ornamentation by suggesting that some ornaments signal dominance status. Here, we use multilevel meta-analytic models to challenge the textbook example of this hypothesis, the black bib of male house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We conducted a systematic review, and obtained primary data from published and unpublished studies to test whether dominance rank is positively associated with bib size across studies. Contrary to previous studies, the overall effect size (i.e. meta-analytic mean) was small and uncertain. Furthermore, we found several biases in the literature that further question the support available for the status signalling hypothesis. We discuss several explanations including pleiotropic, population- and context-dependent effects. Our findings call for reconsidering this established textbook example in evolutionary and behavioural ecology, and should stimulate renewed interest in understanding within-species variation in ornamental traits.

Original languageEnglish
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 2018

Fingerprint

Publication Bias
Textbooks
Meta-Analysis
Sparrows
Ecology
Population

Keywords

  • badge of status
  • dominance
  • ecology
  • meta-analysis
  • ornament
  • Passer domesticus
  • publication bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Sánchez-Tójar, A., Nakagawa, S., Sánchez-Fortún, M., Martin, D. A., Ramani, S., Girndt, A., ... Schroeder, J. (2018). Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias. eLife, 7. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.37385

Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias. / Sánchez-Tójar, Alfredo; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Sánchez-Fortún, Moisès; Martin, Dominic A.; Ramani, Sukanya; Girndt, Antje; Bókony, V.; Kempenaers, Bart; Likér, A.; Westneat, David F.; Burke, Terry; Schroeder, Julia.

In: eLife, Vol. 7, 13.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sánchez-Tójar, A, Nakagawa, S, Sánchez-Fortún, M, Martin, DA, Ramani, S, Girndt, A, Bókony, V, Kempenaers, B, Likér, A, Westneat, DF, Burke, T & Schroeder, J 2018, 'Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias', eLife, vol. 7. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.37385
Sánchez-Tójar A, Nakagawa S, Sánchez-Fortún M, Martin DA, Ramani S, Girndt A et al. Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias. eLife. 2018 Nov 13;7. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.37385
Sánchez-Tójar, Alfredo ; Nakagawa, Shinichi ; Sánchez-Fortún, Moisès ; Martin, Dominic A. ; Ramani, Sukanya ; Girndt, Antje ; Bókony, V. ; Kempenaers, Bart ; Likér, A. ; Westneat, David F. ; Burke, Terry ; Schroeder, Julia. / Meta-analysis challenges a textbook example of status signalling and demonstrates publication bias. In: eLife. 2018 ; Vol. 7.
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