Data from: Female mating preferences and offspring survival: testing hypotheses on the genetic basis of mate choice in a wild lekking birdRebecca J. Sardell, Bart Kempenaers & Emily H. DuVal
Indirect benefits of mate choice result from increased offspring genetic quality and may be important drivers of female behaviour. ‘Good-genes-for-viability’ models predict that females prefer mates of high additive genetic value, such that offspring survival should correlate with male attractiveness. Mate choice may also vary with genetic diversity (e.g. heterozygosity) or compatibility (e.g. relatedness), where the female's genotype influences choice. The relative importance of these nonexclusive hypotheses remains unclear. Leks offer an excellent opportunity to...
Most molecular measures of inbreeding do not measure inbreeding at the scale that is most relevant for understanding inbreeding depression—namely the proportion of the genome that is identical-by-descent (IBD). The inbreeding coefficient FPed obtained from pedigrees is a valuable estimator of IBD, but pedigrees are not always available, and cannot capture inbreeding loops that reach back in time further than the pedigree. We here propose a molecular approach to quantify the realized proportion of the...
The aerial lifestyle of central-place foraging birds allows wide-ranging movements, raising fundamental questions about their remarkable navigation and memory systems. For example, we know that pigeons (Columba livia), long-standing models for avian navigation, rely on individually distinct routes when homing from familiar sites. But it remains unknown how they cope with the task of learning several routes in parallel. Here, we examined how learning multiple routes influences homing in pigeons. We subjected groups of pigeons...
Data from: Carotenoid-based bill coloration functions as a social, not sexual, signal in songbirds (Aves: Passeriformes)Cody J. Dey, Mihai Valcu, Bart Kempenaers & James Dale
Many animals use coloration to communicate with other individuals. While the signalling role of avian plumage colour is relatively well studied, there has been much less research on coloration in avian bare parts. However, bare parts could be highly informative signals as they can show rapid changes in coloration. We measured bill colour (a ubiquitous bare part) in over 1600 passerine species and tested whether interspecific variation in carotenoid-based coloration is consistent with signalling to...
Extra-pair copulation (EPC) is widespread in socially monogamous species, but its evolutionary benefits remain controversial. Indirect genetic benefit hypotheses postulate that females engage in EPC to produce higher quality extra-pair offspring (EPO) than within-pair offspring (WPO). In contrast, the sexual conflict hypothesis posits that EPC is beneficial to males but not to females. Thus, under the sexual conflict hypothesis, EPO are predicted to be no fitter than WPO. We tested these two hypotheses with a...
It has been suggested that individual behavioural traits influence the potential to successfully colonize new areas. Identifying the genetic basis of behavioural variation in invasive species thus represents an important step towards understanding the evolutionary potential of the invader. Here, we sequenced a candidate region for neophilic/neophobic and activity behaviour – the complete exon 3 of the DRD4 gene – in 100 Yellow-crowned bishops (Euplectes afer) from two invasive populations in Spain and Portugal. The...
The severe Ebola virus disease epidemic occurring in West Africa stems from a single zoonotic transmission event to a 2-year-old boy in Meliandou, Guinea. We investigated the zoonotic origins of the epidemic using wildlife surveys, interviews, and molecular analyses of bat and environmental samples. We found no evidence for a concurrent outbreak in larger wildlife. Exposure to fruit bats is common in the region, but the index case may have been infected by playing in...
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology7
Estación Biológica de Doñana1
University of Otago1
Robert Koch Institute1
Philipp University of Marburg1
Laboratoire National d'Appui au Développement Agricole1
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology1