Disruptive viability selection on a black plumage trait associated with dominance
van, Dijk René E
Kaden, Jennifer C
Hatchwell, Ben J
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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Acker, P., Grégoire, A., Rat, M., Spottiswoode, C., van, D. R. E., Paquet, M., Kaden, J. C., et al. (2015). Disruptive viability selection on a black plumage trait associated with dominance. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28 2027-2041. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12717
Traits used in communication, such as colour signals, are expected to have positive consequences for reproductive success, but their associations with survival are little understood. Previous studies have mainly investigated linear relationships between signals and survival, but both hump-shaped and U-shaped relationships can also be predicted, depending on the main costs involved in trait expression. Furthermore, few studies have taken the plasticity of signals into account in viability selection analyses. The relationship between signal expression and survival is of particular interest in melanin-based traits, because their main costs are still debated. Here, we first determined the main factors explaining variability in a melanin-based trait linked to dominance: the bib size of a colonial bird, the sociable weaver Philetairus socius. We then used these analyses to obtain a measure representative of the individual mean expression of bib size. Finally, we used capture-recapture models to study how survival varied in relation to bib size. Variation in bib size was strongly affected by year and moderately affected by age, body condition and colony size. In addition, individuals bearing small and large bibs had higher survival than those with intermediate bibs, and this U-shaped relationship between survival and bib size appeared to be more pronounced in some years than others. These results constitute a rare example of disruptive viability selection, and point towards the potential importance of social costs incurred by the dominance signalling function of badges of status.
Badge of status, fitness, fluctuating selection, social selection, individual variation, longitudinal study, melanin, capture-recapture, mixed models
Our research was funded by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute (University of Cape Town), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, PTDC/BIA-BEC/103818/2008) to RC, the region Languedoc Roussillon, the programme "Chercheur(se)s d’avenir" 2013 and ANR JC 09-JCJC-0050-01JCJC to CD, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, UK: NE/G018588/1 and NE/K015257/1) to BJH, and the University of Cape Town and St John’s College, Cambridge (UK) to CNS. This research was also supported by a Marie Curie-IRSES grant (FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES; ‘Cooperation’ 318994) to all and was conducted within the CNRS-CIBIO International Associate Laboratory (LIA) ‘Biodiversity and Evolution’. RC was funded by a ‘Ciência 2008’ fellowship (FCT, Portugal) with further support from FEDER (Operational Programme for Competitiveness Factors – COMPETE, Project “Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change” co-financed by North Portugal Regional Operational Programme 2007/2013 (ON.2), under the NSRF, ERDF.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12717
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/249195
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Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/