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Carotenoid and melanin-based ornaments signal similar aspects of male quality in two populations of the common yellowthroat

Dunn, Peter O.; Garvin, Julia C.; Whittingham, Linda A.; Freeman-Gallant, Corey R. and Hasselquist, Dennis LU (2010) In Functional Ecology 24(1). p.149-158
Abstract
P>1. Female preferences for particular male ornaments may shift between populations as a consequence of ecological differences that change the reliability and detectability of the ornament, but few studies have examined how ornaments function in different populations. 2. We examined the signalling function of male plumage ornaments in a warbler, the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), breeding in New York (NY) and Wisconsin (WI), USA. Males have two prominent ornaments: a black facial mask pigmented with melanin and a yellow bib pigmented by carotenoids. Previous studies in WI indicate that the size of the mask, and not the bib, is primarily related to female choice and male reproductive success. In NY, however, the pattern is... (More)
P>1. Female preferences for particular male ornaments may shift between populations as a consequence of ecological differences that change the reliability and detectability of the ornament, but few studies have examined how ornaments function in different populations. 2. We examined the signalling function of male plumage ornaments in a warbler, the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), breeding in New York (NY) and Wisconsin (WI), USA. Males have two prominent ornaments: a black facial mask pigmented with melanin and a yellow bib pigmented by carotenoids. Previous studies in WI indicate that the size of the mask, and not the bib, is primarily related to female choice and male reproductive success. In NY, however, the pattern is reversed and attributes of the bib (size and colour), and not the mask, are the target of sexual selection. 3. We found that brightness of the yellow bib was the best signal of humoral immunity (immunoglobulin G) in NY and mask size was the best signal in WI, after controlling for breeding experience and capture date. Thus, similar aspects of male quality appeared to be signalled by different ornaments in different populations. 4. There was no difference between populations in the level of plasma carotenoids or the prevalence of malarial parasites, which may affect the costs and benefits of choosing males with particular ornaments in each location. 5. Even though females in different populations prefer different ornaments produced by different types of pigments, these ornaments appear to be signalling similar aspects of male quality. Our results caution against inferring the function of particular ornaments based simply on their type of pigment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
immunity, intraspecific variation, multiple, ornaments, sexually selected traits, melanin, carotenoids, habitat
in
Functional Ecology
volume
24
issue
1
pages
149 - 158
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000273455500017
  • scopus:73949142564
ISSN
1365-2435
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01606.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7a2ace2e-13bf-4e1f-a1d1-4d904e910825 (old id 1547868)
date added to LUP
2010-02-23 08:42:10
date last changed
2018-07-15 03:21:54
@article{7a2ace2e-13bf-4e1f-a1d1-4d904e910825,
  abstract     = {P>1. Female preferences for particular male ornaments may shift between populations as a consequence of ecological differences that change the reliability and detectability of the ornament, but few studies have examined how ornaments function in different populations. 2. We examined the signalling function of male plumage ornaments in a warbler, the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), breeding in New York (NY) and Wisconsin (WI), USA. Males have two prominent ornaments: a black facial mask pigmented with melanin and a yellow bib pigmented by carotenoids. Previous studies in WI indicate that the size of the mask, and not the bib, is primarily related to female choice and male reproductive success. In NY, however, the pattern is reversed and attributes of the bib (size and colour), and not the mask, are the target of sexual selection. 3. We found that brightness of the yellow bib was the best signal of humoral immunity (immunoglobulin G) in NY and mask size was the best signal in WI, after controlling for breeding experience and capture date. Thus, similar aspects of male quality appeared to be signalled by different ornaments in different populations. 4. There was no difference between populations in the level of plasma carotenoids or the prevalence of malarial parasites, which may affect the costs and benefits of choosing males with particular ornaments in each location. 5. Even though females in different populations prefer different ornaments produced by different types of pigments, these ornaments appear to be signalling similar aspects of male quality. Our results caution against inferring the function of particular ornaments based simply on their type of pigment.},
  author       = {Dunn, Peter O. and Garvin, Julia C. and Whittingham, Linda A. and Freeman-Gallant, Corey R. and Hasselquist, Dennis},
  issn         = {1365-2435},
  keyword      = {immunity,intraspecific variation,multiple,ornaments,sexually selected traits,melanin,carotenoids,habitat},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {149--158},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Functional Ecology},
  title        = {Carotenoid and melanin-based ornaments signal similar aspects of male quality in two populations of the common yellowthroat},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01606.x},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2010},
}