Long-distance migratory birds have relatively smaller brains than short-distance migrants or residents. Here, we test whether reduction in brain size with migration distance can be generalized across the different brain regions suggested to play key roles in orientation during migration. Based on 152 bird species, belonging to 61 avian families from six continents, we show that the sizes of both the telencephalon and the whole brain decrease, and the relative size of the optic lobe...
1. Floral deception is widespread in orchids, with more than one third of the species being pollinated this way. The evolutionary success of deceptive orchids is puzzling, as species employing this strategy are thought to have low reproductive success (less flowers yielding fruits) because of low pollination rates. However, direct measurements of total seed production in orchids – which is a better measure of reproductive success – are scarce due to the extremely small size...
Data from: Interspecific variation in the structural properties of flight feathers in birds indicates adaptation to flight requirements and habitatPeter L. Pap, Gergely Osvath, Krisztina Sandor, Orsolya Vincze, Lorinc Barbos, Attila Marton, Robert L. Nudds & Csongor I. Vagasi
1. The functional significance of intra- and interspecific structural variations in the flight feathers of birds is poorly understood. Here, a phylogenetic comparative analysis of four structural features (rachis width, barb and barbule density and porosity) of proximal and distal primary feathers of 137 European bird species was conducted. 2. Flight type (flapping and soaring, flapping and gliding, continuous flapping or passerine type), habitat (terrestrial, riparian or aquatic), wing characteristics (wing area, S and aspect...
Data from: Functional diversity supports the biomass-diversity humped-back relationship in phytoplankton assemblagesPéter Török, Enikő T-Krasznai, Viktória B-Béres, István Bácsi, Gábor Borics & Béla Tóthmérész
Modelling the relationship between biomass and diversity in phytoplankton assemblages provides new insights into the mechanisms responsible for the coexistence of species, even in terrestrial ecosystems. We tested the biomass–diversity relationship in lake phytoplankton along a wide biomass gradient using functional species groups. We hypothesized that changes in the taxonomic diversity of the phytoplankton along a biomass gradient are associated with altered functional diversity. For the analyses, in total 768 samples were collected from 30...
Parents in many animal species care for their offspring. In some species, males care more; in other species, females care more; in still other species, the contribution of the sexes is equal. However, we do not know what explains these differences among species. Using the most comprehensive analyses of parental care to date, here we show that parents cooperate more when sexual selection is not intense and the adult sex ratio of males to females...
Data from: Mercury exposure, stress and prolactin secretion in an Arctic seabird: an experimental studySabrina Tartu, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Ádám Z. Lendvai, Børge Moe, Pierre Blévin, Claus Bech, Geir W. Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Life-history theory predicts that long-lived organisms should reduce parental effort under inclement environmental conditions in order to favour long-term survival. Seabirds are long-lived top predators often exposed to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals such as mercury (Hg). Hg-contaminated birds show disrupted parental behaviour. Avian parental behaviour is governed by two key hormones in birds: corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid hormone) and prolactin (PRL, a pituitary hormone involved in parental care). Any disruption of these hormones may alter...
University of Debrecen6
French National Centre for Scientific Research2
University of Bath1
Department of Environment and Conservation1
University of Manchester1
University of Paris-Sud1
Hungarian Academy of Sciences1
Norwegian Polar Institute1
University of Pannonia1