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Low Cross-Sex Genetic Correlation in Carotenoid-Based Plumage Traits in the Blue Tit Nestlings (Cyanistes caeruleus)
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 7, e69786- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In some bird species, both adult and juvenile individuals are often brightly coloured. It has been commonly assumed that identical plumage colouration present in both sexes results from strong intersexual genetic correlations in colour-related traits. Here, we aimed at testing this hypothesis in juvenile individuals and looked at genetic parameters describing carotenoid-based colouration of blue tit nestlings in a wild population. To separate genetic and environmental sources of phenotypic variation we performed a cross-fostering experiment. Our analyses confirmed the existence of sexual dichromatism in blue tit nestlings and revealed a significant, although low, genetic component of carotenoid-based colouration. However, genetic effects are expressed differently across sexes as indicated by low cross-sex genetic correlations (r(mf)). Thus our results do not support the prediction of generally high rmf and suggest that intersexual constraints on the evolution of colouration traits may be weaker than expected. We hypothesise that observed patterns of genetic correlations result from sex-specific selective pressures acting on nestling plumage colouration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 7, e69786- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208380DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069786ISI: 000322433300066OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208380DiVA: diva2:652233
Available from: 2013-09-30 Created: 2013-09-30 Last updated: 2013-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, Lars
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Animal ecology
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