Predator-prey relationships and the evolution of genetic colour polymorphism: a comparative analysis in diurnal raptors

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_965E75607035
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Predator-prey relationships and the evolution of genetic colour polymorphism: a comparative analysis in diurnal raptors
Journal
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Author(s)
Roulin  A., Wink  M.
ISSN
0024-4066
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2004
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
81
Number
4
Pages
565-578
Language
english
Abstract
Genetically based variation in coloration occurs in populations of many organisms belonging to various taxa, including birds, mammals, frogs, molluscs, insects and plants. Colour polymorphism has evolved in raptors more often than in any other group of birds, suggesting that predator-prey relationships was a driving evolutionary force. Individuals displaying a new invading colour morph may enjoy an initial foraging advantage because prey have difficulties in learning the colour of a rare morph (apostatic selection), or because morphs provide alternative foraging benefits allowing differently coloured individuals to exploit distinct food niches (disruptive selection). Plumage polymorphism should therefore have evolved in species that prey upon animals having the physiological ability to distinguish between differently coloured predators but also to flee once a predator has been detected. From this assumption, we can predict that closely related polymorphic and monomorphic species prey upon different animals. They may also differ in morphology, because foraging upon different prey may require different foraging modes, and in turn different morphological structures. We tested these two predictions in a comparative study of raptors. As expected, polymorphic and monomorphic species had a different diet, and there was a difference in wing length between polymorphic and monomorphic species within two genera (Buteo and Accipiter). Across all raptors for which phyl ogenetic relationships are known, polymorphic species preyed more often upon mammals than did monomorphic ones. These two types of raptor did not differ in the frequency of birds, insects and reptiles in their diets. We discuss these results in the light of the hypothesis that predator-prey relationships played a role in the evolution of colour polymorphism.
Keywords
alternative strategies, apostatic selection, colour morph, disruptive selection, genetic polymorphism
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
24/01/2008 17:43
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:58
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