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Song discrimination by nestling collared flycatchers during early development
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.
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.
2016 (English)In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 12, no 7, 20160234Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pre-zygotic isolation is often maintained by species-specific signals and preferences. However, in species where signals are learnt, as in songbirds, learning errors can lead to costly hybridization. Song discrimination expressed during early developmental stages may ensure selective learning later in life but can be difficult to demonstrate before behavioural responses are obvious. Here, we use a novel method, measuring changes in metabolic rate, to detect song perception and discrimination in collared flycatcher embryos and nestlings. We found that nestlings as early as 7 days old respond to song with increased metabolic rate, and, by 9 days old, have increased metabolic rate when listening to conspecific when compared with heterospecific song. This early discrimination between songs probably leads to fewer heterospecific matings, and thus higher fitness of collared flycatchers living in sympatty with closely related species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 12, no 7, 20160234
Keyword [en]
species recognition, song, metabolic rate, Ficedula flycatcher
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303751DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0234ISI: 000382423700005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-303751DiVA: diva2:973866
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-09-23 Created: 2016-09-23 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Speciation and Metabolic rate: Insights from an avian hybrid zone
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Speciation and Metabolic rate: Insights from an avian hybrid zone
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The role of divergent climate adaptation in speciation has received surprisingly little scientific attention. My dissertation research focused on how resting metabolic rate (RMR) relates to the build up of prezygotic and postzygotic isolation in a natural Ficedula flycatcher hybrid zone. RMR is the amount of energy an organism needs to run its internal organs. Since RMR is related to life history traits and thermoregulation in other systems, it is likely to affect speciation processes at secondary contact. I found that adult collared flycatchers displace pied flycatchers into increasingly poor habitats (Paper I). Pied nestlings exhibit lower RMR in poor environments (Paper II), which may promote regional coexistence and habitat isolation by making it possible for pied flycatchers to escape competition from collared flycatchers and reduce the risk of hybridization by breeding in the poorer habitats. Further, I found that while collared flycatcher nestling RMR was not environmentally-dependent (Paper II, Paper III), those collared flycatcher nestlings that had a lower RMR in poor environments tended to have higher condition (Paper III). Further, RMR was genetically linked to a sexual ornament in collared males that has previously been shown to be beneficial in poor environments. Lastly, I found that by seven days old, nestlings increase their metabolic rate when listening to song, indicating that they are listening, and by 9 days they can discriminate between songs (Paper IV). Taken together, RMR could affect pre-zygotic isolation via correlations with life history strategies, song and sexual ornaments. RMR is also related to post zygotic isolation in Ficedula flycatchers. I found that flycatcher hybrids tended to have a higher RMR than the parental species (Paper V), and that there were many differentially expressed genes in energetically expensive organs in hybrids that were related to metabolic function (Paper VI). Thus, metabolic dysfunction, possibly caused by genetic incompatibilities, in Ficedula flycatcher hybrids could be a factor leading to infertility and postzygotic isolation between the parental species. Overall, I find that RMR could be a general physiological trait that affects both pre- and postzygotic isolation in hybridizing species at secondary contact, and ought to be more thoroughly considered in speciation research. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 43 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1462
Keyword
resting metabolic rate, life history, hybridization, speciation, reproductive isolation, Ficedula flycatcher
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-309969 (URN)978-91-554-9776-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-02-10, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2016-12-08 Last updated: 2017-01-25

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