Dynamics of multiple sexual signals in relation to climatic conditions

Hegyi, Gergely and Török, János and Garamszegi, László Zsolt and Rosivall, Balázs and Szöllösi, Eszter and Hargitai, Rita (2007) Dynamics of multiple sexual signals in relation to climatic conditions. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 9 (6). pp. 905-920. ISSN 1522-0613


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Question: Can trait-specific phenotypic plasticity in response to annual environmental variation lead to changes in the strength of sexual selection through the relative expression of sexual ornaments at the population level? Data description: We recorded breeding dates and the sizes of white forehead and wing patches of male collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) from 1998 to 2005 in a nestboxbreeding population in the Pilis Mountains, Hungary. As environmental predictors, we used the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and local weather data, classified as direct or indirect effects relative to the moult of the given ornament. Search method: First, we used general linear mixed models to assess environmental effects on the within-individual changes and absolute yearly sizes of forehead and wing patches. We then used similar models to determine whether the relative sizes of the two plumage traits at the population level varied among years. Finally, we used multiple regressions to establish if the relative yearly expression of an ornament affected standardized sexual selection gradients on this ornament in the given year. Conclusions: Within-individual changes in forehead and wing patch size were predicted by the climate of their moulting season (winter and summer, respectively). There was also an indirect effect of previous winter climate on changes in wing patch size. Environmental effects on the absolute expression of ornaments at the population level followed the within-individual patterns. The relative population-level expression of forehead and wing patches fluctuated significantly among years. Sexual selection on a given ornament increased with its relative expression in that year.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH426 Genetics / genetika, örökléstan
Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Depositing User: Erika Bilicsi
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2013 13:01
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 13:01

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