24 Works

Cold winters have morph-specific effects on natal dispersal distance in a wild raptor

Arianna Passarotto, Arianna Passarotto, Chiara Morosinotto, Jon Brommer, Esa Aaltonen, Kari Ahola, Teuvo Karstinen & Patrik Karell
Dispersal is a key process with crucial implications in spatial distribution, density and genetic structure of species’ populations. Dispersal strategies can vary according to both individual and environmental features, but putative phenotype-by-environment interactions have rarely been accounted for. Melanin-based color polymorphism is a phenotypic trait associated with specific behavioral and physiological profiles and is therefore a good candidate trait to study dispersal tactics in different environments. Here, using a 40 years dataset of a population...

The roles of temperature, nest predators and information parasites for geographical variation in egg covering behaviour of tits (Paridae)

Olli Loukola, Peter Adamik, Frank Adriaensen, Emilio Barba, Blandine Doligez, Einar Flensted-Jensen, Tapio Eeva, Sami Kivelä, Toni Laaksonen, Chiara Morosinotto, Raivo Mänd, Petri Niemelä, Vladimir Remeš, Jelmer Samplonius, Manrico Sebastiano, Juan Carlos Senar, Tore Slagsvold, Alberto Sorace, Barbara Tschirren, János Török & Jukka Forsman
Aim: Nest building is widespread among animals. Nests may provide receptacles for eggs, developing offspring and the parents, and protect them from adverse environmental conditions. Nests may also indicate the quality of the territory and its owner and can be considered as an extended phenotype of its builder(s). Nests may, thus, function as a sexual and social signal. Here, we examined ecological and abiotic factors—temperature, nest predation and interspecific information utilization—shaping geographical variation in a...

Information collected during the post-breeding season guides future breeding decisions in a migratory bird

Jere Tolvanen, Chiara Morosinotto, Jukka Forsman & Robert Thomson
Breeding habitat choice and investment decisions are key contributors to fitness in animals. Density of individuals is a well-known cue of habitat quality used for future breeding decisions, but accuracy of density cues decreases as individuals disperse from breeding sites. Used nests remain an available information source also after breeding season, but whether such information is used for breeding decisions is less well known. We experimentally investigated whether migratory, cavity-nesting pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) prospect...

Data from: Evidence of large-scale range shift in the distribution of a Palaearctic migrant in Africa

Caroline Howes, Craig T. Symes & Patrik Byholm
Aim: Long-distance Palaearctic migrant birds are declining at a faster rate than short-distance migrant or resident species. This is often attributed to changes on their non-breeding grounds and along their migratory routes. The European Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus) is a scarce migrant in southern Africa that is declining globally. This study assessed the distribution and abundance of honey-buzzards in southern Africa over the past four decades and compared it to trends in the East African population...

Data from: Differential responses to related hosts by nesting and non-nesting parasites in a brood-parasitic duck

Kim Jaatinen, Markus Öst, Philip Gienapp & Juha Merilä
Host-parasite relatedness may facilitate the evolution of conspecific brood parasitism (CBP), but empirical support for this contention remains inconclusive. One reason for this disparity may relate to the diversity of parasitic tactics, a key distinguishing feature being whether the parasite has a nest of her own. Previous work suggests that parasites without nests of their own may be of inferior phenotypic quality, but due to difficulties in identifying these parasitic individuals, little is known about...

Data from: An empirical comparison of models for the phenology of bird migration

Andreas Lindén, Kalle Meller & Jonas Knape
Bird migration phenology shows strong responses to climate change. Studies of trends and patterns in phenology are typically based on annual summarizing metrics, such as means and quantiles calculated from raw daily count data. However, with irregularly sampled data and large day-to-day variation, such metrics can be biased and noisy, and may be analysed using phenological functions fitted to the data. Here we use count data of migration passage from a Finnish bird observatory to...

Telomere length in relation to colour polymorphism across life stages in the tawny owl

Chiara Morosinotto, Staffan Bensch & Patrik Karell
Abstract of the paper: Telomere erosion has been proposed to be tightly associated with senescence, environmental stressors and life history trade-offs. How telomere dynamics vary across life stages and especially in relation to (heritable) phenotypic traits is still unclear. The tawny owl Strix aluco display a highly heritable melanin-based colour polymorphism, a grey and a brown morph, linked to several fitness traits including morph-specific telomere dynamics. As adults, brown tawny owls have shorter relative telomere...

Data from: Using heterozygosity–fitness correlations to study inbreeding depression in an isolated population of white-tailed deer founded by few individuals

Jon E. Brommer, Jaana Kekkonen & Mikael Wikström
A heterozygosity–fitness correlations (HFCs) may reflect inbreeding depression, but the extent to which they do so is debated. HFCs are particularly likely to occur after demographic disturbances such as population bottleneck or admixture. We here study HFC in an introduced and isolated ungulate population of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus in Finland founded in 1934 by four individuals. A total of 422 ≥ 1-year-old white-tailed deer were collected in the 2012 hunting season in southern Finland...

Data from: Increased male bias in eider ducks can be explained by sex-specific survival of prime-age breeders

Satu Ramula, Markus Öst, Andreas Lindén, Patrik Karell & Mikael Kilpi
In contrast to theoretical predictions of even adult sex ratios, males are dominating in many bird populations. Such bias among adults may be critical to population growth and viability. Nevertheless, demographic mechanisms for biased adult sex ratios are still poorly understood. Here, we examined potential demographic mechanisms for the recent dramatic shift from a slight female bias among adult eider ducks (Somateria mollissima) to a male bias (about 65% males) in the Baltic Sea, where...

Data from: Drivers of spatiotemporal variation in survival in a flyway population: a multi-colony study

Rune Skjold Tjørnløv, Morten Frederiksen, Bruno Ens, Markus Öst, Kim Jaatinen, Rolf Larsson, Thomas Christensen & Morten Frederiksen
1. Spatio-temporal variation in population dynamics of migratory populations is shaped by exposure to different environments during the annual cycle. Hence, exposure to similar environments should translate into synchrony in vital rates. Despite a wide-ranging breeding population, the Baltic/Wadden Sea flyway population of eiders (Somateria m. mollissima) shares wintering grounds in the southern Baltic Sea, inner Danish waters and the Wadden Sea; different colonies within this flyway population are therefore likely to exhibit some degree...

Ecogeographical patterns in owl plumage colouration: climate and vegetation cover predict global colour variation

Arianna Passarotto, Arianna Passarotto, Emilio Rodríguez-Caballero, Ángel Cruz-Miralles & Jesús M. Avilés
Aim: Ecogeographical rules link animal colours, especially those produced by melanin pigments, with variation in environmental conditions over wide geographical scales. In particular, Gloger’s rule, coined in two versions for endothermic animals, suggests that tegument darkness would increase at high temperature, as well as in highly humid environments. On the other hand, the thermal melanism hypothesis, predicts that darker colourations should be more frequent in colder areas given their thermoregulation benefits. Location: Global Time period:...

Data from: Scrutinizing assortative mating in birds

Daiping Wang, Wolfgang Forstmeier, Mihai Valcu, Niels Dingemanse, Martin Bulla, Christiaan Both, Renée A. Duckworth, Lynna Marie Kiere, Patrik Karell, Tomáš Albrecht & Bart Kempenaers
It is often claimed that pair bonds preferentially form between individuals that resemble one another. Such assortative mating appears to be widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Yet it is unclear whether the apparent ubiquity of assortative mating arises primarily from mate choice (‘like attracts like’) which can be constrained by same-sex competition for mates, from spatial or temporal separation, or from observer, reporting, publication or search bias. Here, based on a conventional literature search, we...

Data from: Wind conditions and geography shape the first outbound migration of juvenile honey buzzards and their distribution across sub-Saharan Africa

Wouter M. G. Vansteelant, Jaana Kekkonen & Patrik Byholm
Contemporary tracking studies reveal that low migratory connectivity between breeding and non-breeding ranges is common in migrant landbirds. It is unclear, however, how internal factors and early-life experiences of individual migrants shape the development of their migration routes and concomitant population-level non-breeding distributions. Stochastic wind conditions and geography may determine whether and where migrants end up by the end of their journey. We tested this hypothesis by satellite-tagging 31 fledgling honey buzzards Pernis apivorus from...

Data from: Gray plumage color is more cryptic than brown in snowy landscapes in a resident color polymorphic bird

Katja Koskenpato, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Carita Lindstedt & Patrik Karell
Camouflage may promote fitness of given phenotypes in different environments. The tawny owl (Strix aluco) is a colour polymorphic species with a grey and brown morph resident in the Western Palearctic. A strong selection pressure against the brown morph during snowy and cold winters has been documented earlier but the selection mechanisms remain unresolved. Here we hypothesise that selection favors the grey morph because it is better camouflaged against predators and mobbers in snowy conditions...

Data from: Fledging mass is color morph specific and affects local recruitment in a wild bird

Chiara Morosinotto, Jon Brommer, Atte Lindqvist, Kari Ahola, Esa Aaltonen, Teuvo Karstinen & Patrik Karell
Early life conditions may have long-lasting effects on life history. In color polymorphic species, morph-specific sensitivity to environmental conditions may lead to differential fitness. In tawny owl (Strix aluco) pheomelanin-based color polymorphism is expected to be maintained because the brown morph has higher adult fitness in warmer environments, while selection favors the grey morph under colder conditions. Here we investigate body mass at fledging and its consequences until adulthood in a population at the species’...

Maternal predation risk increases offspring’s exploration but does not affect schooling behavior

Silvia Cattelan, James Herbert-Read, Paolo Panizzon, Alessandro Devigili, Matteo Griggio, Andrea Pilastro & Chiara Morosinotto
The environment that parents experience can influence their reproductive output and their offspring’s fitness via parental effects. Perceived predation risk can affect both parent and offspring phenotype, but it remains unclear to what extent offspring behavioral traits are affected when the mother is exposed to predation risk. This is particularly unclear in live-bearing species where maternal effects could occur during embryogenesis. Here, using a half-sib design to control for paternal effects, we experimentally exposed females...

Data from: Rainfall during parental care reduces reproductive and survival components of fitness in a passerine bird

Meit Öberg, Debora Arlt, Tomas Pärt, Ane T. Laugen, Sönke Eggers & Matthew Low
Adverse weather conditions during parental care may have direct consequences for offspring production, but longer-term effects on juvenile and parental survival are less well known. We used long-term data on reproductive output, recruitment, and parental survival in northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) to investigate the effects of rainfall during parental care on fledging success, recruitment success (juvenile survival), and parental survival, and how these effects related to nestling age, breeding time, habitat quality, and parental nest...

Data from: Kin association during brood care in a facultatively social bird: active discrimination or byproduct of partner choice and demography?

Kim Jaatinen, Kristina Noreikiene, Juha Merilä & Markus Öst
Intra-group relatedness does not necessarily imply kin selection, a leading explanation for social evolution. An overlooked mechanism for generating population genetic structure is variation in longevity and fecundity, referred to as individual quality, affecting kin structure and the potential for cooperation. Individual quality also affects choosiness in partner choice, a key process explaining cooperation through direct fitness benefits. Reproductive skew theory predicts that relatedness decreases with increasing group size, but this relationship could also arise...

Data from: Pale and dark morphs of tawny owls show different patterns of telomere dynamics in relation to disease status

Patrik Karell, Staffan Bensch, Kari Ahola & Muhammad Asghar
Parasites are expected to exert long-term costs on host fecundity and longevity. Understanding the consequences of heritable polymorphic variation in disease defence in wild populations is essential in order to predict evolutionary responses to changes in disease risk. Telomeres have been found to shorten faster in malaria-diseased individuals compared with healthy ones with negative effects on longevity and thereby fitness. Here, we study the impact of haemosporidian blood parasites on telomere dynamics in tawny owls,...

Data from: Brood size matching: a novel perspective on predator dilution

Kim Jaatinen & Markus Öst
A primary benefit of grouping is diluting the individual risk of attack by predators. However, the fact that groups are formed not always by solitary adults but also by subgroups (e.g., families) has been overlooked. The subgroup-specific benefit of predator dilution depends on its relative contribution to total group size. Therefore, the willingness of a subgroup to merge with others should increase the less it contributes to total group size, but the conflicting preferences of...

Specialist predation covaries with colour polymorphism in tawny owls

Patrik Karell, Kio Kohonen & Katja Koskenpato
Understanding intraspecific phenotypic variation in prey specialisation can help to predict how long-term changes in prey availability affect the viability of these phenotypes and their persistence. Generalists are favoured when the main food resources are unpredictable compared to specialists, which track the availability of the main prey and are more vulnerable to changes in the main food resource. Intraspecific heritable melanin-based colour polymorphism is considered to reflect adaptations to different environments. We studied colour morph-specific...

Identifying biotic drivers of population dynamics in a benthic–pelagic community

Louise Forsblom, Andreas Lindén, Jonna Engström-Öst, Maiju Lehtiniemi & Erik Bonsdorff
Benthic species and communities are linked to pelagic zooplankton through life-stages encompassing both benthic and pelagic habitats and through a mutual dependency on primary producers as a food source. Many zooplankton taxa contribute to the sedimentary system as benthic eggs. Our main aim was to investigate the nature of the population level biotic interactions between and within these two seemingly independent communities, both dependent on the pelagic primary production, while simultaneously accounting for environmental drivers...

Data for: Heritability and parental effects in telomere length in a color polymorphic long-lived bird

Chiara Morosinotto, Staffan Bensch, Maja Tarka & Patrik Karell
Telomere length, an indicator of senescence, has been shown to be heritable but can also be affected by environmental factors, like parental effects. Investigating heritability as well as parental effects and rearing environment can help us to understand the factors affecting offspring telomeres. Moreover, how phenotypic parental traits linked with fitness can impact offspring telomere length is still unclear. A phenotypic marker closely associated with physiological traits and fitness is melanin-based color polymorphism, which in...

Data from: Differential responses to related hosts by nesting and non-nesting parasites in a brood-parasitic duck

Kim Jaatinen, Markus Öst, Philip Gienapp & Juha Merilä
Host-parasite relatedness may facilitate the evolution of conspecific brood parasitism (CBP), but empirical support for this contention remains inconclusive. One reason for this disparity may relate to the diversity of parasitic tactics, a key distinguishing feature being whether the parasite has a nest of her own. Previous work suggests that parasites without nests of their own may be of inferior phenotypic quality, but due to difficulties in identifying these parasitic individuals, little is known about...

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