Carotenoid- but not melanin-based plumage coloration is negatively related to metal exposure and proximity to the road in an urban songbird

Melissa Grunst, Andrea Grunst, Rianne Pinxten, Lieven Bervoets & Marcel Eens
Rapid urbanization is a global phenomenon that is increasingly exposing organisms to novel stressors. These novel stressors can affect diverse aspects of organismal function, including development of condition-dependent ornaments, which play critical roles in social and sexual selection. We investigated the relationship between metal pollution, proximity to roads, and carotenoid- and melanin-based plumage coloration in a common songbird, the great tit (Parus major). We studied populations located across a well-characterized metal pollution gradient and surrounded...
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