24 Works

Data from: The effects of life history and sexual selection on male and female plumage colouration

James Dale, Cody J. Dey, Kaspar Delhey, Bart Kempenaers & Mihai Valcu
Classical sexual selection theory provides a well-supported conceptual framework for understanding the evolution and signalling function of male ornaments. It predicts that males obtain greater fitness benefits than females through multiple mating because sperm are cheaper to produce than eggs. Sexual selection should therefore lead to the evolution of male-biased secondary sexual characters. However, females of many species are also highly ornamented. The view that this is due to a correlated genetic response to selection...

Data from: Troubleshooting the potential pitfalls of cross-fostering

Isabel S. Winney, Shinichi Nakagawa, Yu-Hsun Hsu, Terry Burke, Julia Schroeder & Isabel Winney
1. Cross-fostering is the transfer of offspring between their natal environment and a new social environment. This method allows researchers to disentangle the genetic and interacting environmental effects that influence phenotypes, and is popular in both wild and laboratory studies. Here, we discuss three factors that might bias cross-fostering and influence ecological and evolutionary conclusions if not accommodated. 2. First, cross-fostering tends to be spatially and temporally non-random because heterogeneous breeding conditions can result in...

Data from: Repeated stressors in adulthood increase the rate of biological ageing

Michaela Hau, Mark F. Haussmann, Timothy J. Greives, Christa Matlack, David Costantini, Michael Quetting, James S. Adelman, Ana Catarina Miranda & Jesko Partecke
Background: Individuals of the same age can differ substantially in the degree to which they have accumulated tissue damage, akin to bodily wear and tear, from past experiences. This accumulated tissue damage reflects the individual’s biological age and may better predict physiological and behavioural performance than the individual‘s chronological age. However, at present it remains unclear how to reliably assess biological age in individual wild vertebrates. Methods: We exposed hand-raised adult Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula)...

Data from: A prezygotic transmission distorter acting equally in female and male zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

Ulrich Knief, Holger Schielzeth, Hans Ellegren, Bart Kempenaers & Wolfgang Forstmeier
The two parental alleles at a specific locus are usually inherited with equal probability to the offspring. However, at least three processes can lead to an apparent departure from fair segregation: early viability selection, biased gene conversion and various kinds of segregation distortion. Here, we conduct a genome-wide scan for transmission distortion in a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) using 1302 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed by confirmatory analyses on independent samples from the...

Data from: Social monogamy versus polyandry: ecological factors associated with sex-roles in two closely related birds within the same habitat

Wolfgang Goymann, Musa Makomba, Felister Urasa & Ingrid Schwabl
Why mainly males compete and females take a larger share in parental care remains an exciting question in evolutionary biology. Role-reversed species are of particular interest, because such exceptions′ help to test the rule. Using mating systems theory as a framework, we compared the reproductive ecology of the two most contrasting coucals with regard to sexual dimorphism and parental care: the black coucal with male-only care and the bi-parental white-browed coucal. Both species occur in...

Data from: The role of social and ecological processes in structuring animal populations: a case study from automated tracking of wild birds

Damien R. Farine, Joshua Firth, Lucy M. Aplin, Ross A. Crates, Antica Culina, Colin J. Garroway, Lindall R. Kidd, Nicole D. Milligan, Ioannis Psorakis, Reinder Radersma, Brecht Verhelst, Bernhard Voelkl, Ben C. Sheldon, C. A. Hinde & J. A. Firth
Both social and ecological factors influence population process and structure, with resultant consequences for phenotypic selection on individuals. Understanding the scale and relative contribution of these two factors is thus a central aim in evolutionary ecology. In this study, we develop a framework using null models to identify the social and spatial patterns that contribute to phenotypic structure in a wild population of songbirds. We used automated technologies to track 1053 individuals that formed 73...

Data from: Host and parasite life history interplay to yield divergent population genetic structures in two ectoparasites living on the same bat species

Jaap Van Schaik, Daan Dekeukeleire & Gerald Kerth
Host–parasite interactions are ubiquitous in nature. However, how parasite population genetic structure is shaped by the interaction between host and parasite life history remains understudied. Studies comparing multiple parasites infecting a single host can be used to investigate how different parasite life history traits interplay with host behaviour and life history. In this study, we used 10 newly developed microsatellite loci to investigate the genetic structure of a parasitic bat fly (Basilia nana). Its host,...

Data from: Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds

Damien R. Farine, Lucy M. Aplin, Ben C. Sheldon & William Hoppitt
Understanding the functional links between social structure and population processes is a central aim of evolutionary ecology. Multiple types of interactions can be represented by networks drawn for the same population, such as kinship, dominance or affiliative networks, but the relative importance of alternative networks in modulating population processes may not be clear. We illustrate this problem, and a solution, by developing a framework for testing the importance of different types of association in facilitating...

Data from: Evaluation of two methods for minimally invasive peripheral body temperature measurement in birds

Andreas Nord, Marina Lehmann, Ross Macloed, Dominic J. McCafferty, Ruedi G. Nager, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Barbara Helm & Ross MacLeod
Body temperature (Tb) is a valuable parameter when assessing the physiological state of animals, but its widespread measurement is often constrained by methods that are invasive or require frequent recapture of animals. Alternatives based on automated remote sensing of peripheral Tb show promise, but little is known about their strengths and limitations. We measured peripheral Tb in great tits Parus major with subcutaneously implanted passive integrated transponders (PIT tags) and externally attached radio transmitters to...

Data from: Beyond size – morphological predictors of bite force in a diverse insectivorous bat assemblage from Malaysia

Juliana Senawi, Daniela Schmieder, Björn Siemers & Tigga Kingston
1. Bite force is used to investigate feeding performance in a variety of vertebrates. In all taxa studied, bite force is strongly correlated with body and head size. Studies of bite force in bats have largely centred on neotropical species with a particular focus on species that maximize dietary differences. Little is known about the bite force of bats from the Old World tropics, nor of variation in bite force within diverse assemblages of obligate...

Data from: Are extra-pair males different from cuckolded males? An empirical and meta-analytic examination

Yu-Hsun Hsu, Julia Schroeder, Isabel Winney, Terry Burke & Shinichi Nakagawa
Traditional models for female extra-pair matings assume that females benefit indirectly from extra-pair mating behaviour. Under these so-called adaptive models, extra-pair males are hypothesized to have more compatible genotypes, larger body size, exaggerated ornaments or to be older than cuckolded males. Alternatively, (‘nonadaptive’) models that consider female extra-pair matings to be a by-product posit that female extra-pair mating can be maintained even if there is no benefit to females. This could happen if, for example,...

Data from: Two eggs, two different constraints: a potential explanation for the puzzling intra-clutch egg size dimorphism in Eudyptes penguins

Maud Poisbleau, Nina Dehnhard, Laurent Demongin, Petra Quillfeldt & Marcel Eens
Phenotypic plasticity and phenotypic stability are major components of the adaptive evolution of organisms to environmental variation. The invariant two-egg clutch size of Eudyptes penguins has recently been proposed to be a unique example of a maladaptive phenotypic stability, while their egg mass is a plastic trait. We tested whether this phenotypic plasticity during reproduction might result from constraints imposed by migration (migratory carry-over effect) and breeding (due to the depletion of female body reserves)....

Data from: Bat species comparisons based on external morphology: a test of traditional versus geometric morphometric approaches

Daniela A. Schmieder, Hugo A. Benítez, Ivailo M. Borissov & Carmelo Fruciano
External morphology is commonly used to identify bats as well as to investigate flight and foraging behavior, typically relying on simple length and area measures or ratios. However, geometric morphometrics is increasingly used in the biological sciences to analyse variation in shape and discriminate among species and populations. Here we compare the ability of traditional versus geometric morphometric methods in discriminating between closely related bat species – in this case European horseshoe bats (Rhinolophidae, Chiroptera)...

Data from: An approach to estimate short-term, long-term, and reaction norm repeatability

Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy, Kimberley J. Mathot & Niels J. Dingemanse
Evolutionary ecologists increasingly study reaction norms that are expressed repeatedly within the same individual's lifetime. For example, foragers continuously alter anti-predator vigilance in response to moment-to-moment changes in predation risk. Variation in this form of plasticity occurs both among and within individuals. Among-individual variation in plasticity (individual by environment interaction or I×E) is commonly studied; by contrast, despite increasing interest in its evolution and ecology, within-individual variation in phenotypic plasticity is not. We outline a...

Data from: Characterization of the genome and transcriptome of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus: polymorphisms, sex-biased expression and selection signals

Jakob C. Mueller, Heiner Kuhl, Bernd Timmermann & Bart Kempenaers
Decoding genomic sequences and determining their variation within populations has potential to reveal adaptive processes and unravel the genetic basis of ecologically relevant trait variation within a species. The blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus – a long-time ecological model species – has been used to investigate fitness consequences of variation in mating and reproductive behaviour. However, very little is known about the underlying genetic changes due to natural and sexual selection in the genome of this...

Data from: Hatching late in the season requires flexibility in the timing of song learning

Stefan Leitner, Johanna Teichel, Andries Ter Maat & Cornelia Voigt
Most songbirds learn their songs from adult tutors, who can be their father or other male conspecifics. However, the variables that control song learning in a natural social context are largely unknown. We investigated whether the time of hatching of male domesticated canaries has an impact on their song development and on the neuroendocrine parameters of the song control system. Average age difference between early- and late-hatched males was 50 days with a maximum of...

Data from: Patterns of call communication between group-housed Zebra finches change during the breeding cycle

Lisa F. Gill, Wolfgang Goymann, Andries Ter Maat & Manfred Gahr
Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through...

Data from: Stressful colors: corticosterone concentrations in a free-living songbird vary with the spectral composition of experimental illumination

Jenny Q. Ouyang, Maaike De Jong, Michaela Hau, Marcel E. Visser, Roy H. A. Van Grunsven & Kamiel Spoelstra
Organisms have evolved under natural daily light/dark cycles for millions of years. These cycles have been disturbed as night-time darkness is increasingly replaced by artificial illumination. Investigating the physiological consequences of free-living organisms in artificially lit environments is crucial to determine whether nocturnal lighting disrupts circadian rhythms, changes behaviour, reduces fitness and ultimately affects population numbers. We make use of a unique, large-scale network of replicated field sites which were experimentally illuminated at night using...

Data from: Evolutionary patterns of adaptive acrobatics and physical performance predict expression profiles of androgen receptor – but not oestrogen receptor – in the forelimb musculature

Matthew J. Fuxjager, Joy Eaton, Willow R. Lindsay, Lucie H. Salwiczek, Michelle A. Rensel, Julia Barske, Laurie Sorenson, Lainy B. Day & Barney A. Schlinger
1. Superior physical competence is vital to the adaptive behavioural routines of many animals, particularly those that engage in elaborate sociosexual displays. How such traits evolve across species remains unclear. 2. Recent work suggests that activation of sex steroid receptors in neuromuscular systems is necessary for the fine motor skills needed to execute physically elaborate displays. Thus, using passerine birds as models, we test whether interspecific variation in display complexity predicts species differences in the...

Data from: Artificial light at night desynchronises strictly seasonal reproduction in a wild mammal

Kylie A. Robert, John A. Lesku, Jesko Partecke & Brian Chambers
Change in day length is an important cue for reproductive activation in seasonally breeding animals to ensure that the timing of greatest maternal investment (e.g. lactation in mammals) coincides with favourable environmental conditions (e.g. peak productivity). However, artificial light at night has the potential to interfere with the perception of such natural cues. Following a 5-year study on two populations of wild marsupial mammals exposed to different night-time levels of anthropogenic light, we show that...

Data from: Exact Bayesian inference for animal movement in continuous time

Paul G. Blackwell, Mu Niu, Mark S. Lambert & Scott D. LaPoint
It is natural to regard most animal movement as a continuous-time process, generally observed at discrete times. Most existing statistical methods for movement data ignore this; the remainder mostly use discrete-time approximations, the statistical properties of which have not been widely studied, or are limited to special cases. We aim to facilitate wider use of continuous-time modelling for realistic problems. We develop novel methodology which allows exact Bayesian statistical analysis for a rich class of...

Data from: Inbreeding depression of sperm traits in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata

Pavlína Opatová, Malika Ihle, Jana Albrechtová, Oldřich Tomášek, Bart Kempenaers, Wolfgang Forstmeier & Tomáš Albrecht
Inbreeding depression, or the reduction in fitness due to mating between close relatives, is a key issue in biology today. Inbreeding negatively affects many fitness-related traits, including survival and reproductive success. Despite this, very few studies have quantified the effects of inbreeding on vertebrate gamete traits under controlled breeding conditions using a full-sib mating approach. Here, we provide comprehensive evidence for the negative effect of inbreeding on sperm traits in a bird, the zebra finch...

Data from: Individual consistency and phenotypic plasticity in rockhopper penguins: female but not male body mass links environmental conditions to reproductive investment

Nina Dehnhard, Marcel Eens, Laurent Demongin, Petra Quillfeldt & Maud Poisbleau
In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass...

Data from: Costs of sleeping in: circadian rhythms influence cuckoldry risk in a songbird

Timothy Greives, Sjouke Kingma, Bart Kranstauber, Kim Mortega, Martin Wikelski, Kees Van Oers, Christa Mateman, Glen Ferguson, Giulia Beltrami, Michaela Hau, Sjouke A. Kingma & Timothy J. Greives
1. Circadian (i.e. daily) regulation of behaviors is thought to provide fitness benefits to organisms by enabling them to anticipate diel changes in the environment, such as sunrise. 2. A common behavior among socially monogamous songbirds that usually takes place in the early mornings is extra-pair mating, i.e. copulating with partners outside of the social pair bond. 3. Thus, variation in when individuals begin their daily activity may influence their reproductive success; early risers may...

Registration Year

  • 2015

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Sheffield
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • University of Otago
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • University of Oxford
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • National University of Malaysia