Data from: Feather melanin and micro-structure variation in dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) across an elevational gradient in the Selkirk Mountains

Devin R. De Zwaan, Jennifer L. Greenwood & Kathy Martin
Variation in feather melanism and microstructure can arise through sexual selection and ecological functional drivers. Melanin-based plumage traits are associated with sexual dichromatism and the intensity of sexual selection in many avian species, but also have several ecological benefits such as protection against ultra-violet (UV) radiation, camouflage, and feather strength. Additionally, feather microstructure influences thermoregulation. Plumage variation across species is well documented; however, the relative role of sexual selection and ecological drivers in intra-specific and...
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