Browsing by Subject "PIED FLYCATCHER"

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  • McFarlane, S. Eryn; Ålund, Murielle; Sirkiä, Päivi M.; Qvarnström, Anna (2018)
    Variation in relative fitness of competing recently formed species across heterogeneous environments promotes coexistence. However, the physiological traits mediating such variation in relative fitness have rarely been identified. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is tightly associated with life history strategies, thermoregulation, diet use, and inhabited latitude and could therefore moderate differences in fitness responses to fluctuations in local environments, particularly when species have adapted to different climates in allopatry. We work in a long-term study of collared (Ficedula albicollis) and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) in a recent hybrid zone located on the Swedish island of Oland in the Baltic Sea. Here, we explore whether differences in RMR match changes in relative performance of growing flycatcher nestlings across environmental conditions using an experimental approach. The fitness of pied flycatchers has previously been shown to be less sensitive to the mismatch between the peak in food abundance and nestling growth among late breeders. Here, we find that pied flycatcher nestlings have lower RMR in response to higher ambient temperatures (associated with low food availability). We also find that experimentally relaxed nestling competition is associated with an increased RMR in this species. In contrast, collared flycatcher nestlings did not vary their RMR in response to these environmental factors. Our results suggest that a more flexible nestling RMR in pied flycatchers is responsible for the better adaptation of pied flycatchers to the typical seasonal changes in food availability experienced in this hybrid zone. Generally, subtle physiological differences that have evolved when species were in allopatry may play an important role to patterns of competition, coexistence, or displacements between closely related species in secondary contact.
  • Koski, Tuuli-Marjaana; Sirkiä, Paivi M.; McFarlane, S. Eryn; Ålund, Murielle; Qvarnström, Anna (2020)
    Food availability sets the stage for incubation behaviour of a female bird and thereby indirectly determines the nest temperature, which in turn affects development and metabolism of avian embryos. Changes in development and metabolism in turn are known to influence offspring's ability to adjust to environmental changes later in life. However, few studies have investigated the role of interspecific differences in incubation behaviour in relation to niche separation between competing sibling species. We studied the effects of habitat quality (in terms of caterpillar availability) on incubation behaviour of two ecologically similar and closely related species, collared and pied flycatchers (Ficedula albicollisandF. hypoleuca), in their hybrid zone on the island of oland, Sweden. Even though both species prefer caterpillar-rich deciduous forests as nesting sites, collared flycatchers, whose nestlings have higher energetic demands, are able to nest only in deciduous forests, whereas pied flycatchers have more flexible habitat requirements. Overall, higher food availability was associated with increased nest attendance, higher incubation temperature and a lower number of foraging trips across species. In addition, collared flycatchers had more frequent and shorter foraging trips across habitat types, allocated more heat to eggs and therefore maintained higher nest temperatures compared to pied flycatchers. We argue that the higher heat allocation or the need to maintain a higher nest temperature for embryo development may constrain collared flycatchers to focus on relatively more profitable prey. Our results highlight the importance of considering incubation behaviour in the context of understanding species differences in niche use. Significance statement Niche separation plays an important role in mitigating effects of competition between closely related species. Whether species differences in incubation behaviour relate to differences in niche use remains unknown. We compared incubation behaviour of two sympatric flycatcher species that differ in sensitivity to food availability. The competitively more dominant and larger species, the collared flycatcher, whose nestlings are more sensitive to food shortages, made more frequent foraging trips but allocated more heat to eggs, leading to higher nest temperature despite lower nest attendance, compared to pied flycatchers. These interspecific differences may be a result of differences in embryo sensitivity or female physiology and contribute to the niche separation between the species, which in turn can facilitate coexistence.
  • Ruuskanen, Suvi; Siitari, Heli; Eeva, Tapio; Belskii, Eugen; Järvinen, Antero; Kerimov, Anvar; Krams, Indrikis; Moreno, Juan; Morosinotto, Chiara; Maend, Raivo; Moestl, Erich; Orell, Markku; Qvarnstrom, Anna; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Slater, Fred; Tilgar, Vallo; Visser, Marcel E.; Winkel, Wolfgang; Zang, Herwig; Laaksonen, Toni (2011)
    Reproductive, phenotypic and life-history traits in many animal and plant taxa show geographic variation, indicating spatial variation in selection regimes. Maternal deposition to avian eggs, such as hormones, antibodies and antioxidants, critically affect development of the offspring, with long-lasting effects on the phenotype and fitness. Little is however known about large-scale geographical patterns of variation in maternal deposition to eggs. We studied geographical variation in egg components of a passerine bird, the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), by collecting samples from 16 populations and measuring egg and yolk mass, albumen lysozyme activity, yolk immunoglobulins, yolk androgens and yolk total carotenoids. We found significant variation among populations in most egg components, but ca. 90% of the variation was among individuals within populations. Population however explained 40% of the variation in carotenoid levels. In contrast to our hypothesis, we found geographical trends only in carotenoids, but not in any of the other egg components. Our results thus suggest high within-population variation and leave little scope for local adaptation and genetic differentiation in deposition of different egg components. The role of these maternally-derived resources in evolutionary change should be further investigated.
  • Velmala, William; Helle, Samuli; Ahola, Markus P.; Klaassen, Marcel; Lehikoinen, Esa; Rainio, Kalle; Sirkiä, Päivi; Laaksonen, Toni (2015)
    For migratory birds, the earlier arrival of males to breeding grounds is often expected to have fitness benefits. However, the selection differential on male arrival time has rarely been decomposed into the direct effect of male arrival and potential indirect effects through female traits. We measured the directional selection differential on male arrival time in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) using data from 6years and annual number of fledglings as the fitness proxy. Using structural equation modeling, we were able to take into account the temporal structure of the breeding cycle and the hierarchy between the examined traits. We found directional selection differentials for earlier male arrival date and earlier female laying date, as well as strong selection differential for larger clutch size. These selection differentials were due to direct selection only as indirect selection for these traits was nonsignificant. When decomposing the direct selection for earlier male arrival into direct and indirect effects, we discovered that it was almost exclusively due to the direct effect of male arrival date on fitness and not due to its indirect effects via female traits. In other words, we showed for the first time that there is a direct effect of male arrival date on fitness while accounting for those effects that are mediated by effects of the social partner. Our study thus indicates that natural selection directly favored earlier male arrival in this flycatcher population.