17 Works

Physiological costs and age constraints of a sexual ornament: an experimental study in a wild bird

Alexandra McQueen, Kaspar Delhey, Beatrice Szecsenyi, Ondi Crino, Michael Roast & Anne Peters
Sexual ornaments are often considered honest signals of quality because potential costs or constraints prevent their display by low-quality individuals. Testing for potential physiological costs of ornaments is difficult, as this requires experimentally forcing individuals to produce and display elaborate ornaments. We use this approach to test whether a sexually selected trait is physiologically costly to male superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus). Male fairy-wrens moult from brown to blue breeding plumage at different times of the...

Data from: Dietary antioxidants attenuate the endocrine stress response during long-duration flight of a migratory bird

Stefania Casagrande, Kristen Demoranville, Lisa Trost, Barbara Pierce, Amadeusz Bryla, Maciej Dzialo, Edyta Sadowska, Ulf Bauchinger & Scott McWilliams
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are metabolic hormones that promote catabolic processes, which release stored energy and support high metabolic demands such as during prolonged flights of migrating birds. Dietary antioxidants (e.g., anthocyanins) support metabolism by quenching excess reactive oxygen species produced during aerobic metabolism, and also by activating metabolic pathways that, similar to GCs’ function, release stored energy, although the extent of complementarity between GCs and dietary antioxidants is not well known. If anthocyanins complement GCs functions,...

Maternal effects and urbanization: Variation of yolk androgens and immunoglobulin in city and forest blackbirds

Jesko Partecke, Gergely Hegyi, Patrick S. Fitze, Julien Gasparini & Hubert Schwabl
Wildlife inhabiting urban environments exhibit drastic changes in morphology, physiology and behaviour. It has often been argued that these phenotypic responses could be the result of micro-evolutionary changes following the urbanization process. However, other mechanisms such as phenotypic plasticity, maternal effects and developmental plasticity could be involved as well. To address maternal effects as potential mechanisms, we compared maternal hormone and antibody concentrations in eggs between city and forest populations of European blackbirds (Turdus merula),...

Data from: Novel sources of (co)variation in nestling begging behavior and hunger at different biological levels of analysis

Daniel Wetzel, Ariane Mutzel, Jonathan Wright & Niels Dingemanse
Biological hypotheses predicting patterns of offspring begging typically concern the covariance with hunger and/or development at specific hierarchical levels. For example, hunger drives within-individual patterns of begging, but begging also drives food intake among individuals within broods, and begging and food intake can covary positively or negatively among genotypes or broods. Testing biological phenomena that occur at multiple levels therefore requires the partitioning of covariance between traits of interest to ensure that each level-specific relationship...

Data from: Heterozigosity-fitness correlations in a continental island population of Thorn-tailed Rayadito

Esteban Botero-Delgadillo, Verónica Quirici, Rodrigo A. Vásquez & Bart Kempenaers
Heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) have been used to monitor the effects of inbreeding in threatened populations. HFCs can also be useful to investigate the potential effects of inbreeding in isolated relict populations of long-term persistence, and to better understand the role of inbreeding and outbreeding as drivers of changes in genetic diversity. We studied a continental island population of thorn-tailed rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) inhabiting the relict forest of Fray Jorge National Park, north-central Chile. This population...

Primary data on skull and brain morphology for: Geographical patterns in seasonal changes of body mass, skull, and brain size of common shrews

Javier Lázaro, Lucie Nováková, Moritz Hertel, Jan R. E. Taylor, Marion Muturi, Karol Zub & Dina K. N. Dechmann
Some small mammals exhibit Dehnel’s Phenomenon, a drastic decrease in body mass, braincase and brain size from summer to winter, followed by regrowth in spring. This is accompanied by a reorganization of the brain and changes in other organs. The evolutionary link between these changes and seasonality remains unclear, although the intensity of change varies between locations as the phenomenon is thought to lead to energy savings during winter. Here we explored geographic variation of...

Data from: Chronic traffic noise increases food intake and alters gene expression associated with metabolism and disease in bats

Shengjing Song, Chang Yang, Wang Daiping, Jiang Tinglei, Feng Jiang & Lin Aiqing
Anthropogenic noise exposure has deleterious effects on the foraging ecology of many animals. However, the effects of chronic anthropogenic noise on food intake and health condition in wildlife remain largely unknown. We tested whether traffic noise exposure over multiple days would change food intake and would have effects on the health of Asian particoloured bats. We broadcast traffic noise to the bats of two noise-exposure groups (group A, 5 bats; group C, 6 bats) and...

Data from: Increased glucocorticoid concentrations in early life cause mitochondrial inefficiency and short telomeres

Stefania Casagrande, Antoine Stier, Pat Monaghan, Winniefred Boner, Jasmine Loveland, Sara Lupi, Rachele Trevisi & Michaela Hau
Telomeres are DNA structures that protect chromosome ends. However, telomeres shorten during cell replication and at critically low lengths can reduce cell replicative potential, induce cell senescence and decrease fitness. Stress exposure, which elevates glucocorticoid hormone concentrations, can exacerbate telomere attrition. This phenomenon has been attributed to increased oxidative stress generated by glucocorticoids ("oxidative stress hypothesis"). We recently instead suggested that glucocorticoids increase telomere attrition during stressful periods by reducing the resources available for telomere...

Winter associations predict social and extra-pair mating patterns in a wild songbird

Kristina Beck, Damien Farine & Bart Kempenaers
Despite decades of research, our understanding of the underlying causes of within-population variation in patterns of extra-pair paternity (EPP) remains limited. Previous studies have shown that extra-pair mating decisions are linked to both individual traits and ecological factors. Here, we examine whether social associations among individuals prior to breeding also shape mating patterns, specifically the occurrence of EPP, in a small songbird, the blue tit. We test whether associations during the non-breeding period predict (1)...

Data from: Cooperation with closely bonded individuals reduces cortisol levels in long-tailed macaques

Martina Stocker, Matthias-Claudio Loretto, Elisabeth H.M. Sterck, Thomas Bugnyar & Jorg J.M. Massen
Many animal species cooperate with conspecifics in various social contexts. While ultimate causes of cooperation are being studied extensively, its proximate causes, particularly endocrine mechanisms, have received comparatively little attention. Here, we present a study investigating the link between the hormone cortisol, cooperation and social bonds in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). We tested 14 macaques in a dyadic cooperation task (loose-string paradigm), each with two partners of different social bond strength and measured their salivary...

Sex-specific effects of cooperative breeding and colonial nesting on prosociality in corvids

Lisa Horn, Thomas Bugnyar, Michael Griesser, Marietta Hengl, Ei-Ichi Izawa, Tim Oortwijn, Christiane Rössler, Clara Scheer, Martina Schiestl, Masaki Suyama, Alex H. Taylor, Lisa-Claire Vanhooland, Auguste M. P. Von Bayern, Yvonne Zürcher & Jorg J. M. Massen
The investigation of prosocial behavior is of particular interest from an evolutionary perspective. Comparisons of prosociality across non-human animal species have, however, so far largely focused on primates, and their interpretation is hampered by the diversity of paradigms and procedures used. Here we present the first systematic comparison of prosocial behavior across multiple species in a taxonomic group outside the primate order, namely the bird family Corvidae. We measured prosociality in 8 corvid species, which...

An unbiased molecular approach using 3’UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life

Heiner Kuhl, Carolina Frankl-Vilches, Antje Bakker, Gerald Mayr, Gerhard Nikolaus, Stefan Boerno, Sven Klages, Bernd Timmermann & Manfred Gahr
Presumably, due to a rapid early diversification, major parts of the higher-level phylogeny of birds are still resolved controversially in different analyses or are considered unresolvable. To address this problem, we produced an avian tree of life, which includes molecular sequences of one or several species of ∼ 90% of the currently recognized family-level taxa (429 species, 379 genera) including all 106 for the non-passerines and 115 for the passerines (Passeriformes). The unconstrained analyses of...

Data from: Negative effects of individual heterozygosity on reproductive success in a wild bird population

Esteban Botero-Delgadillo, Carol Gilsenan, Jakob C. Mueller & Bart Kempenaers
The evolutionary consequences of individual genetic diversity are frequently studied by assessing heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs). The prevalence of positive and negative HFCs and the predominance of general versus local effects in wild populations are far from understood, partly because comprehensive studies testing for both inbreeding and outbreeding depression are lacking. We studied a genetically diverse population of blue tits in southern Germany using a genome-wide set of 87 microsatellites to investigate the relationship between proxies...

Data and code from: Light might suppress both types of sound-evoked anti-predator flight in moths

Holger R. Goerlitz, Theresa Hügel & Holger R. Goerlitz
Urbanization exposes wild animals to increased levels of light, affecting particularly nocturnal animals. Artificial light at night might shift the balance of predator-prey interactions, for example of nocturnal echolocating bats and eared moths. Moths exposed to light show less last-ditch manoeuvres in response to attacking close-by bats. In contrast, the extent to which negative phonotaxis, moths’ first line of defence against distant bats, is affected by light is unclear. Here, we aimed to quantify the...

Data from: Extra-pair paternity in two populations of the socially monogamous Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda (Passeriformes: Furnariidae)

Esteban Botero-Delgadillo, Verónica Quirici, Yanina Poblete, Silvina Ippi, Bart Kempenaers & Rodrigo Vasquez
Studies on extra-pair paternity (EPP) are key to understanding the ecological and evolutionary drivers of variation in avian mating strategies, but information is currently lacking for most tropical and sub-tropical taxa. We describe the occurrence of EPP in two populations of a South American socially monogamous bird, the Thorn-tailed Rayadito, based on data from 266 broods and 895 offspring that were sampled during six breeding seasons in north-central and southern Chile. In the northern population,...

Dataset for group living and duetting in barbet species

Masayo Soma & Henrik Brumm
The duets of birds have intrigued biologists for a long time, yet much remains unknown about the evolution of these striking collective displays. This is because previous studies on duet evolution have been biased to songbirds and neglected other bird groups. In songbirds, the absence of migration has been found to predict the occurrence of duetting, indirectly supporting the idea that duet communication is linked with pair-bonding. Here, we used phylogenetic comparative analyses in a...

Extra-pair copulations can insure female blue tits against male infertility

Peter Santema, Kim Teltscher & Bart Kempenaers
Mating outside the pair-bond occurs frequently in socially monogamous birds, but the benefits that females gain from this behaviour remain debated. One hypothesis is that females engage in extra-pair copulations (EPCs) to ensure that their clutch is fertilised in case their own mate is infertile, but evidence for this idea is scarce. We report on a case of an infertile male blue tit that bred in three successive years with three different females. In the...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Vienna
  • Andrés Bello University
  • Hokkaido University
  • University of Chile
  • Utrecht University
  • University of Glasgow
  • Senckenberg Nature Research Society
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics