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Genetic divergence of early song discrimination between two young songbird species
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1178-4053
2017 (English)In: NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, ISSN 2397-334X, Vol. 1, no 7, article id UNSP 0192Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Juvenile songbirds express species-specific song discrimination from an early age, which focuses learning onto the songs of their parental species. However, it remains unknown whether this early song discrimination is influenced by early social experience or maternal effects or whether it is instead largely genetically determined. We manipulated early social experience by swapping young embryos between the nests of two co-occurring songbird species-pied and collared flycatchers. We show that nestlings are more active in response to playbacks of conspecific songs, even when raised by adults from the other species, thus enabling us to reject social experience as the main determinant of early song discrimination. We then crossed the two species in captivity and showed that the song responses of hybrid nestlings do not depend on social experience or maternal species, implying genetic divergence of early song discrimination. Our results provide conclusive evidence that early song discrimination has a largely genetic component, which can stabilize reproductive isolation by reducing song learning across closely related species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 1, no 7, article id UNSP 0192
National Category
Genetics Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-344538DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0192ISI: 000417179000020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-344538DiVA, id: diva2:1188407
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilThe Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesAvailable from: 2018-03-07 Created: 2018-03-07 Last updated: 2018-03-07Bibliographically approved

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Wheatcroft, DavidQvarnström, Anna

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