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Classification and Temporal Stability of Plumage Variation in Common Buzzards

Kappers, E. F.; Chakarov, N. LU ; Krüger, O.; Mueller, Anna-Katharina; Valcu, M.; Kempenaers, B. and Both, C (2017) In Ardea 105(2).
Abstract

Persistent plumage colour polymorphism occurs in around 3.5% of bird species, with raptors showing a disproportionately high frequency of such polymorphisms. The genus Buteo has more polymorphic species than any other raptor genus (15 polymorphic species out of 25). These polymorphisms are interesting from an evolutionary perspective, because they are heritable and hence a good model for understanding mechanisms preserving genetic variation. For evolutionary models, it is important to assess whether discrete morphs exist or whether variation is more continuous. Using image analysis, we show that in Common Buzzards Buteo buteo variation is continuous and unimodal, ranging from very dark to very light individuals. Previous studies on... (More)

Persistent plumage colour polymorphism occurs in around 3.5% of bird species, with raptors showing a disproportionately high frequency of such polymorphisms. The genus Buteo has more polymorphic species than any other raptor genus (15 polymorphic species out of 25). These polymorphisms are interesting from an evolutionary perspective, because they are heritable and hence a good model for understanding mechanisms preserving genetic variation. For evolutionary models, it is important to assess whether discrete morphs exist or whether variation is more continuous. Using image analysis, we show that in Common Buzzards Buteo buteo variation is continuous and unimodal, ranging from very dark to very light individuals. Previous studies on Common Buzzards have used a classification with three discrete morphs. We compared this classification with a seven-scale morph classification used in our study. We used photographs of the same individuals taken at different ages. Even though the plumage gets somewhat darker from juvenile to adult age, morph type did not change substantially.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Buteo buteo, colour polymorphism, Common Buzzard, image analysis, morph, plumage variation
in
Ardea
volume
105
issue
2
publisher
Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie
external identifiers
  • scopus:85026762354
ISSN
0373-2266
DOI
10.5253/arde.v105i2.a1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
deef7f15-f0a3-4208-8fcd-a2c330d1759f
date added to LUP
2017-08-29 10:24:23
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:16:20
@article{deef7f15-f0a3-4208-8fcd-a2c330d1759f,
  abstract     = {<p>Persistent plumage colour polymorphism occurs in around 3.5% of bird species, with raptors showing a disproportionately high frequency of such polymorphisms. The genus Buteo has more polymorphic species than any other raptor genus (15 polymorphic species out of 25). These polymorphisms are interesting from an evolutionary perspective, because they are heritable and hence a good model for understanding mechanisms preserving genetic variation. For evolutionary models, it is important to assess whether discrete morphs exist or whether variation is more continuous. Using image analysis, we show that in Common Buzzards Buteo buteo variation is continuous and unimodal, ranging from very dark to very light individuals. Previous studies on Common Buzzards have used a classification with three discrete morphs. We compared this classification with a seven-scale morph classification used in our study. We used photographs of the same individuals taken at different ages. Even though the plumage gets somewhat darker from juvenile to adult age, morph type did not change substantially.</p>},
  author       = {Kappers, E. F. and Chakarov, N. and Krüger, O. and Mueller, Anna-Katharina and Valcu, M. and Kempenaers, B. and Both, C},
  issn         = {0373-2266},
  keyword      = {Buteo buteo,colour polymorphism,Common Buzzard,image analysis,morph,plumage variation},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie},
  series       = {Ardea},
  title        = {Classification and Temporal Stability of Plumage Variation in Common Buzzards},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5253/arde.v105i2.a1},
  volume       = {105},
  year         = {2017},
}