Tail colour signals performance in blue tit nestlings

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Class , B , Kluen , E & Brommer , J E 2019 , ' Tail colour signals performance in blue tit nestlings ' , Journal of Evolutionary Biology , vol. 32 , no. 9 , pp. 913-920 . https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13489

Title: Tail colour signals performance in blue tit nestlings
Author: Class, Barbara; Kluen, Edward; Brommer, Jon E.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, Joint Activities
University of Helsinki, University of Turku
Date: 2019-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
ISSN: 1010-061X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/327128
Abstract: Indirect sexual selection arises when reproductive individuals choose their mates based on heritable ornaments that are genetically correlated to fitness. Evidence for genetic associations between ornamental colouration and fitness remains scarce. In this study, we investigate the quantitative genetic relationship between different aspects of tail structural colouration (brightness, hue and UV chroma) and performance (cell-mediated immunity, body mass and wing length) in blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings. In line with previous studies, we find low heritability for structural colouration and moderate heritability for performance measures. Multivariate animal models show positive genetic correlations between the three measures of performance, indicating quantitative genetic variation for overall performance, and tail brightness and UV chroma, two genetically independent colour measures, are genetically correlated with performance (positively and negatively, respectively). Our results suggest that mate choice based on independent aspects of tail colouration can have fitness payoffs in blue tits and provide support for the indirect benefits hypothesis. However, low heritability of tail structural colouration implies that indirect sexual selection on mate choice for this ornament will be a weak evolutionary force.
Subject: colouration
Cyanistes caeruleus
G matrix
genetic correlation
good genes
heritability
immune response
sexual selection
wild
INDIVIDUAL GREAT TITS
PLUMAGE COLORATION
LOCAL RECRUITMENT
BODY-MASS
SEXUAL SELECTION
IMMUNE-RESPONSE
HATCHING DATE
GENETIC-BASIS
MATE CHOICE
HERITABILITY
1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
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