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Variation in the mechanical properties of flight feathers of the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla in relation to migration

de la Hera, Ivan; Hedenström, Anders LU ; Perez-Tris, Javier and Telleria, Jose Luis (2010) In Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00 41(3). p.342-347
Abstract
Migration causes temporal and energetic constraints during plumage development, which can compromise feather structure and function. In turn, given the importance of a good quality of flight feathers in migratory movements, selection may have favoured the synthesis of feathers with better mechanical properties than expected from a feather production constrained by migration necessities. However, no study has assessed whether migratory behaviour affects the relationship between the mechanical properties of feathers and their structural characteristics. We analysed bending stiffness (a feather mechanical property which is relevant to birds' flight), rachis width and mass (two main determinants of variation in bending stiffness) of wing and... (More)
Migration causes temporal and energetic constraints during plumage development, which can compromise feather structure and function. In turn, given the importance of a good quality of flight feathers in migratory movements, selection may have favoured the synthesis of feathers with better mechanical properties than expected from a feather production constrained by migration necessities. However, no study has assessed whether migratory behaviour affects the relationship between the mechanical properties of feathers and their structural characteristics. We analysed bending stiffness (a feather mechanical property which is relevant to birds' flight), rachis width and mass (two main determinants of variation in bending stiffness) of wing and tail feathers in migratory and sedentary blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla. Migratory blackcaps produced feathers with a narrower rachis in both wing and tail, but their feathers were not significantly lighter; in addition, bending stiffness was higher in migratory blackcaps than in sedentary blackcaps. Such unexpected result for bending stiffness remained when we statistically controlled for individual variation in rachis width and feather mass, which suggests the existence of specific mechanisms that help migratory blackcaps to improve the mechanical behaviour of their feathers under migration constraints. (Less)
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author
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00
volume
41
issue
3
pages
342 - 347
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000279077000015
  • scopus:77954156243
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/j.1600-048X.2009.04835.x
project
CAnMove
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
773fb39b-28ce-4ae6-b495-59aca18a7a1e (old id 1630105)
date added to LUP
2010-07-23 12:50:37
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:44:24
@article{773fb39b-28ce-4ae6-b495-59aca18a7a1e,
  abstract     = {Migration causes temporal and energetic constraints during plumage development, which can compromise feather structure and function. In turn, given the importance of a good quality of flight feathers in migratory movements, selection may have favoured the synthesis of feathers with better mechanical properties than expected from a feather production constrained by migration necessities. However, no study has assessed whether migratory behaviour affects the relationship between the mechanical properties of feathers and their structural characteristics. We analysed bending stiffness (a feather mechanical property which is relevant to birds' flight), rachis width and mass (two main determinants of variation in bending stiffness) of wing and tail feathers in migratory and sedentary blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla. Migratory blackcaps produced feathers with a narrower rachis in both wing and tail, but their feathers were not significantly lighter; in addition, bending stiffness was higher in migratory blackcaps than in sedentary blackcaps. Such unexpected result for bending stiffness remained when we statistically controlled for individual variation in rachis width and feather mass, which suggests the existence of specific mechanisms that help migratory blackcaps to improve the mechanical behaviour of their feathers under migration constraints.},
  author       = {de la Hera, Ivan and Hedenström, Anders and Perez-Tris, Javier and Telleria, Jose Luis},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {342--347},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00},
  title        = {Variation in the mechanical properties of flight feathers of the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla in relation to migration},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-048X.2009.04835.x},
  volume       = {41},
  year         = {2010},
}