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Red plumage and its association with reproductive success in red-capped robins
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
2006 (English)In: Annales Zoologici Fennici, ISSN 0003-455X, Vol. 43, no 4, 311-321 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Red plumage is produced mainly by deposition of carotenoid'pigments into the feathers, and is assumed to be costly. Recent studies suggest red plumage may be a condition-dependent, sexually selected signal. To date, few studies have explored the relationship between carotenoid-based plumage colour and genetic (realised) reproductive success. This is despite the rarity of genetic monogamy among. avian mating systems. We studied. this-relationship. in the red-capped robin (Petroica goodenovii) across two breeding seasons, using spectrophotometric techniques, to score colour and molecular markers to assign paternity. Males with the highest. within-pair. reproductive success during the first season moulted into,the most colourful plumage at the conclusion of that season. We found;no such correlations, when using putative measures of reproductive success, underlining the importance of unambiguous paternity assignment. However, males that moulted into the most, colourful plumage did not go on to attain highest. reproductive success during-the, subsequent breeding season (while displaying this plumage). Instead, variation in male reproductive success was explained by male body condition and age. These results suggest that the information value of male-plumage colour is unpredictable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 43, no 4, 311-321 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-24946ISI: 000240565000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-24946DiVA: diva2:52720
Available from: 2007-02-08 Created: 2007-02-08 Last updated: 2011-06-16Bibliographically approved

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