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Does song reflect age and viability? A comparison between two populations of the great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Forstmeier, W ; Hasselquist, Dennis LU ; Bensch, Staffan LU and Leisler, B (2006) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 59(5). p.634-643
Abstract
Song complexity is often regarded as a sexually selected trait that reflects the overall quality of a male. In many passerine species, old males possess larger song repertoires than younger males. This may be either because individual males improve their performance as they get older (longitudinal increase) or because poor singers have reduced viability and, hence, are underrepresented in old age classes (cross-sectional increase). We studied the age dependence of repertoire size and other song traits in a German and a Swedish great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found marked differences between longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches, as well as between the two study populations. In the German population, we... (More)
Song complexity is often regarded as a sexually selected trait that reflects the overall quality of a male. In many passerine species, old males possess larger song repertoires than younger males. This may be either because individual males improve their performance as they get older (longitudinal increase) or because poor singers have reduced viability and, hence, are underrepresented in old age classes (cross-sectional increase). We studied the age dependence of repertoire size and other song traits in a German and a Swedish great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found marked differences between longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches, as well as between the two study populations. In the German population, we found that syllable switching, a measure of immediate versatility and strophe length, increased with age in a cross-sectional analysis. This was not because birds improved with age (longitudinally) but because syllable switching was positively correlated with male longevity. However, in Sweden, syllable switching seemed to be unrelated to age and longevity. In the Swedish population, individual males increased their repertoire size as they got older (longitudinal increase), but this did not happen in the German population. Hence, two populations, even when belonging to the same subspecies, may differ in whether or not they show delayed song maturation. (Less)
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publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
59
issue
5
pages
634 - 643
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000235219700006
  • scopus:32144442855
ISSN
1432-0762
DOI
10.1007/s00265-005-0090-z
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
486f45f3-8b4c-459c-a138-203e2cb549fe (old id 155459)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:27:24
date last changed
2021-08-11 02:50:55
@article{486f45f3-8b4c-459c-a138-203e2cb549fe,
  abstract     = {Song complexity is often regarded as a sexually selected trait that reflects the overall quality of a male. In many passerine species, old males possess larger song repertoires than younger males. This may be either because individual males improve their performance as they get older (longitudinal increase) or because poor singers have reduced viability and, hence, are underrepresented in old age classes (cross-sectional increase). We studied the age dependence of repertoire size and other song traits in a German and a Swedish great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) population. We found marked differences between longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches, as well as between the two study populations. In the German population, we found that syllable switching, a measure of immediate versatility and strophe length, increased with age in a cross-sectional analysis. This was not because birds improved with age (longitudinally) but because syllable switching was positively correlated with male longevity. However, in Sweden, syllable switching seemed to be unrelated to age and longevity. In the Swedish population, individual males increased their repertoire size as they got older (longitudinal increase), but this did not happen in the German population. Hence, two populations, even when belonging to the same subspecies, may differ in whether or not they show delayed song maturation.},
  author       = {Forstmeier, W and Hasselquist, Dennis and Bensch, Staffan and Leisler, B},
  issn         = {1432-0762},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {634--643},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Does song reflect age and viability? A comparison between two populations of the great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-005-0090-z},
  doi          = {10.1007/s00265-005-0090-z},
  volume       = {59},
  year         = {2006},
}