Article: article from journal or magazin.
Ultraviolet reflectance in a melanin-based plumage trait is heritable
Evolutionary Ecology Research
Question: Is ultraviolet (UV) reflectance of melanin-based plumage ornaments heritable? Data studied: We considered the barn owl (Two alba), a species that varies continuously from white to reddish-brown, a pheomelanin-based trait. Methods: To perform a partial cross-fostering experiment. we exchanged one to three hatchlings between 16 pairs of nests with a similar hatching date. This experiment allocated hatchlings randomly among rearing environments. Forty-nine days later, we collected three feathers per individual to measure UV reflectance. Conclusions: The cross-fostering experiment showed that. independently of human-visible coloration, variation in UV reflectance is significantly sensitive to origin-related factors.
colour polymorphism, heritability, melanin, plumage coloration, sex determination, structural coloration, Tyto alba, ultraviolet reflectance
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