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Heritability of resting metabolic rate in a wild population of blue tits.

Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU ; Åkesson, Mikael LU and Nilsson, Johan LU (2009) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(9). p.1867-1874
Abstract
We report the first study with the aim to estimate heritability in a wild population, a nest box breeding population of blue tits. We estimated heritability as well as genetic and phenotypic correlations of resting metabolic rate (RMR), body mass and tarsus length with an animal model based on data from a split cross-fostering experiment with brood size manipulations. RMR and body mass, but not tarsus length, showed significant levels of explained variation but for different underlying reasons. In body mass, the contribution to the explained variation is mainly because of a strong brood effect, while in RMR it is mainly because of a high heritability. The additive variance in RMR was significant and the heritability was estimated to 0.59.... (More)
We report the first study with the aim to estimate heritability in a wild population, a nest box breeding population of blue tits. We estimated heritability as well as genetic and phenotypic correlations of resting metabolic rate (RMR), body mass and tarsus length with an animal model based on data from a split cross-fostering experiment with brood size manipulations. RMR and body mass, but not tarsus length, showed significant levels of explained variation but for different underlying reasons. In body mass, the contribution to the explained variation is mainly because of a strong brood effect, while in RMR it is mainly because of a high heritability. The additive variance in RMR was significant and the heritability was estimated to 0.59. The estimates of heritability of body mass (0.08) and tarsus length (0.00) were both low and based on nonsignificant additive variances. Thus, given the low heritability (and additive variances) in body mass and tarsus length the potential for direct selection on RMR independent of the two traits is high in this population. However, the strong phenotypic correlation between RMR and mass (0.643 +/- 0.079) was partly accounted for by a potentially strong, although highly uncertain, genetic correlation (1.178 +/- 0.456) between the two traits. This indicates that the additive variance of body mass, although low, might still somewhat constrain the independent evolvability of RMR. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
22
issue
9
pages
1867 - 1874
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000269138100008
  • scopus:69249245449
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01798.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6904f9e9-129c-4c98-895d-f2f65507cb35 (old id 1469712)
date added to LUP
2009-09-08 14:11:41
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:34:21
@article{6904f9e9-129c-4c98-895d-f2f65507cb35,
  abstract     = {We report the first study with the aim to estimate heritability in a wild population, a nest box breeding population of blue tits. We estimated heritability as well as genetic and phenotypic correlations of resting metabolic rate (RMR), body mass and tarsus length with an animal model based on data from a split cross-fostering experiment with brood size manipulations. RMR and body mass, but not tarsus length, showed significant levels of explained variation but for different underlying reasons. In body mass, the contribution to the explained variation is mainly because of a strong brood effect, while in RMR it is mainly because of a high heritability. The additive variance in RMR was significant and the heritability was estimated to 0.59. The estimates of heritability of body mass (0.08) and tarsus length (0.00) were both low and based on nonsignificant additive variances. Thus, given the low heritability (and additive variances) in body mass and tarsus length the potential for direct selection on RMR independent of the two traits is high in this population. However, the strong phenotypic correlation between RMR and mass (0.643 +/- 0.079) was partly accounted for by a potentially strong, although highly uncertain, genetic correlation (1.178 +/- 0.456) between the two traits. This indicates that the additive variance of body mass, although low, might still somewhat constrain the independent evolvability of RMR.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Jan-Åke and Åkesson, Mikael and Nilsson, Johan},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1867--1874},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Heritability of resting metabolic rate in a wild population of blue tits.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01798.x},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2009},
}