Breeding rate is associated with pheomelanism in male and with eumelanism in female barn owls

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_677C34C74300
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
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Institution
Title
Breeding rate is associated with pheomelanism in male and with eumelanism in female barn owls
Journal
Behavioral Ecology
Author(s)
Roulin A., Altwegg R.
ISSN
1045-2249
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2007
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
18
Number
3
Pages
563-570
Language
english
Abstract
Melanin-based coloration exists in 2 types: black eumelanism and reddish-brown pheomelanism, which both have a strong heritable component. To test whether these 2 types of melanism are associated with alternative adaptations, we carried out a correlative study over 8 years and an experiment in a Swiss population of barn owls, Tyto alba. This species varies in coloration from reddish-brown to white and from lightly to heavily marked with black spots. Based on the fact that plumage coloration and spottiness are male- and female-specific secondary sexual characters, respectively, we examined whether the probability of breeding is associated with the degree of pheomelanism in males and of eumelanism in females. In males, recruited nestlings were significantly less reddish-brown than their nonrecruited nest mates. In females, individuals displaying larger black spots started to breed at a younger age and had a higher survival, and females with experimentally reduced plumage spottiness bred less often than control females. Therefore, in the barn owl, the degree of male pheomelanism is associated with the probability of being recruited in the local population, whereas the degree of female eumelanism correlates with age at sexual maturity, survival probability, and also the probability of skipping reproduction.
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Open Access
Yes
Create date
24/01/2008 18:42
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:23
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