Abstracts (first author)


Mutual ornaments in pied flycatchers: geographical patterns of assortative mating

Author(s): Calhim S, Sirkiä PM, Adamík P, Artemyev AV, Belskii E, Both C, Bureš S, Burgess M, Bushuev AV, Doligez B, Forsman JT, Grinkov V, Hoffmann D, Hoffman U, Järvinen A, Král M, Krams I, Lampe HM, Moreno J, Mägi M, Nord A, Potti J, Ravussin P, Sokolov L, Laaksonen T


In many sexually dichromatic taxa, females express, albeit often to a lower degree, male-like traits. Fitness consequences and signaling content of (mutual) ornamentation are often studied for each sex separately, with the exception of assortative mating studies. Male and female pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) have a conspicuous white wing patch that varies in size and ultraviolet reflectance. This trait affects intra- and intersexual social interactions and may signal individual quality. Positive assortativeness is predicted for ornaments that serve similar social signaling functions. Here we investigate assortative mating patterns and their fitness correlates, using wing patch data from several populations across pied flycatchers’ breeding range. Preliminary results show that within-pair similarity in wing patch differs between populations. Together with current work on spatial patterns in selection for this trait in each sex, these results suggest that local environmental and ecological conditions may affect mutual ornaments differently in males and females.

Abstracts (coauthor)


Conspicuous secondary sexual characters, such as sexually dichromatic plumage traits, are thought to have evolved through sexual selection, because they indicate the genetic or phenotypic quality of the bearer. While directional selection should deplete genetic variation in fitness-related traits, there are many cases where variation is higher than expected. One possible explanation for this is that different phenotypes within a population are adapted to different environmental conditions. The dorsal plumage coloration of pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) males varies from almost completely black to dull brown. In addition they have several ornamental patches that also vary greatly in size and shape. We compared the condition and survival of the offspring of male pied flycatchers with different plumage phenotypes under different conditions. In order to create different environmental conditions, we used a partial cross-foster design where the original brood size was pairwise reduced or enlarged by one chick. This design enabled us to separate the effects of offspring genotype from parental effects. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates that there are significant interactions between the phenotype of the biological father (forehead patch size) and environmental conditions (brood manipulation treatment and ambient temperature) on chick condition. This suggests that offspring of different male phenotypes differ in their responses to environmental conditions. Therefore, selection on the trait is likely to be context-dependent and environmental heterogeneity may act as a factor maintaining phenotypic variation.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
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XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group