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Malaria infected male collared flycatchers, Ficedula albicollis experience higher reproductive success and tend to have larger sexual ornaments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

How parasites influence the population dynamics of their hosts depends on 1) theproportion of individuals that carry the infection in the population, 2) what type of individuals aremost susceptible to infection and 3) the fitness effects of infection. In this study I first investigate thefrequency of malaria strains transmitted in the African winter quarters or at the European breedinggrounds in collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis). I then zoom in on the relationship between avianmalaria infection status and condition, expression of sexually selected ornament and reproductiveperformance of male collared flycatchers. I found that female flycatchers are more likely to beinfected than males and that both sexes have a large bias towards infection with European strains ofmalaria. Infected male flycatchers have higher reproductive success and tend to have largerornaments but there was no detected relationship between malaria infection and male condition.This is the first example, that I am aware of, of a positive relationship between malaria infection andreproductive success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 13 p.
Keyword [en]
Ficedula, Avian malaria, sexual selection
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-283179OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-283179DiVA: diva2:918702
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-09-14Bibliographically approved

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