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How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?

de la Hera, Ivan; Schaper, Sonja V.; Diaz, Jose A.; Perez-Tris, Javier; Bensch, Staffan LU and Luis Telleria, Jose (2011) In The Auk 128(2). p.321-329
Abstract
In birds, molt duration is an important trait that can affect plumage functionality and, consequently, the fitness of individuals. However, knowledge about the factors that affect variation in molt speed is sparse, mostly because of the methodological difficulties of studying avian molt. We used a ptilochronology-based approach to estimate the rate at which tail feathers were produced during molt to shed light on the relationship between molt duration and feather growth rate. For that purpose, we used three data sets. First, we tested whether the average molt durations of 22 passerine species were correlated with the mean growth rates of their feathers, using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistical procedures. Second,... (More)
In birds, molt duration is an important trait that can affect plumage functionality and, consequently, the fitness of individuals. However, knowledge about the factors that affect variation in molt speed is sparse, mostly because of the methodological difficulties of studying avian molt. We used a ptilochronology-based approach to estimate the rate at which tail feathers were produced during molt to shed light on the relationship between molt duration and feather growth rate. For that purpose, we used three data sets. First, we tested whether the average molt durations of 22 passerine species were correlated with the mean growth rates of their feathers, using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistical procedures. Second, we explored this same association among captive Great Tits (Pants major). And third, we took advantage of the biannual complete molt of Willow Warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) to examine whether the feathers synthesized during their short summer molt grew faster than those produced during their long winter molt. Feather growth rates were negatively correlated with molt duration in all analyses, revealing that molt duration can be estimated from the growth rate of a single feather. However, predictive power was limited by the fact that molt duration is modulated mainly by molt intensity, which seems to be correlated with ecological constraints in our interspecific approach. We also discuss the implications of our results for the evolution of molt duration, and the potential application of ptilochronology in its study. Received 2 August 2010, accepted 21 December 2010. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
comparative method, migration constraints, molt evolution, phenotypic, diversity analysis programs (PDAP), phylogenetically independent, contrasts
in
The Auk
volume
128
issue
2
pages
321 - 329
publisher
BioOne
external identifiers
  • wos:000290887600013
  • scopus:79957529759
ISSN
0004-8038
DOI
10.1525/auk.2011.10181
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
715385a0-ca3d-4a0c-b700-2e49c3bc3d97 (old id 1986136)
date added to LUP
2011-06-29 15:39:44
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:15:51
@article{715385a0-ca3d-4a0c-b700-2e49c3bc3d97,
  abstract     = {In birds, molt duration is an important trait that can affect plumage functionality and, consequently, the fitness of individuals. However, knowledge about the factors that affect variation in molt speed is sparse, mostly because of the methodological difficulties of studying avian molt. We used a ptilochronology-based approach to estimate the rate at which tail feathers were produced during molt to shed light on the relationship between molt duration and feather growth rate. For that purpose, we used three data sets. First, we tested whether the average molt durations of 22 passerine species were correlated with the mean growth rates of their feathers, using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistical procedures. Second, we explored this same association among captive Great Tits (Pants major). And third, we took advantage of the biannual complete molt of Willow Warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) to examine whether the feathers synthesized during their short summer molt grew faster than those produced during their long winter molt. Feather growth rates were negatively correlated with molt duration in all analyses, revealing that molt duration can be estimated from the growth rate of a single feather. However, predictive power was limited by the fact that molt duration is modulated mainly by molt intensity, which seems to be correlated with ecological constraints in our interspecific approach. We also discuss the implications of our results for the evolution of molt duration, and the potential application of ptilochronology in its study. Received 2 August 2010, accepted 21 December 2010.},
  author       = {de la Hera, Ivan and Schaper, Sonja V. and Diaz, Jose A. and Perez-Tris, Javier and Bensch, Staffan and Luis Telleria, Jose},
  issn         = {0004-8038},
  keyword      = {comparative method,migration constraints,molt evolution,phenotypic,diversity analysis programs (PDAP),phylogenetically independent,contrasts},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {321--329},
  publisher    = {BioOne},
  series       = {The Auk},
  title        = {How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/auk.2011.10181},
  volume       = {128},
  year         = {2011},
}