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Assortative mating by colored ornaments in blue tits: space and time matter

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ABSTRACT

Assortative mating is a potential outcome of sexual selection, and estimating its level is important to better understand local adaptation and underlying trait evolution. However, assortative mating studies frequently base their conclusions on small numbers of individuals sampled over short periods of time and limited spatial scales even though spatiotemporal variation is common. Here, we characterized assortative mating patterns over 10 years in four populations of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a passerine bird. We focused on two plumage ornaments—the blue crown and the yellow breast patch. Based on data for 1,657 pairs of birds, we found large interannual variation: assortative mating varied from positive to negative. To determine whether there was nonetheless a general trend in the data, we ran a within‐study meta‐analysis. It revealed that assortative mating was moderately positive for both ornaments. It also showed that mating patterns differed among populations and especially between two neighboring populations that displayed phenotypic divergence. Our results therefore underscore that long‐term studies are needed to draw broad conclusions about mating patterns in natural populations. They also call for studying the potential role of assortative mating in local adaptation and evolution of ornaments in both sexes.

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Pearson correlation coefficients for blue UV‐chroma (blue squares) and yellow chroma (yellow circles) for each year for each population. The bars depict the 95% confidence intervals. The dashed lines indicate a coefficient value of zero, or the absence of assortative mating
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ece32822-fig-0002: Pearson correlation coefficients for blue UV‐chroma (blue squares) and yellow chroma (yellow circles) for each year for each population. The bars depict the 95% confidence intervals. The dashed lines indicate a coefficient value of zero, or the absence of assortative mating

Mentions: For each population and each trait, there was notable variation among years in the strength of assortative mating (see Figure 2 for blue UV‐chroma and yellow chroma; see Appendix S2, Fig. S2.1 for the other three traits). The most positive values were around 0.60 (i.e., 0.60 for blue UV‐chroma in D‐Muro in 2009 and 0.57 for yellow chroma in E‐Muro in 2011), and the most negative values were around −0.40 (−0.39 for blue brightness in E‐Pirio in 2008).


Assortative mating by colored ornaments in blue tits: space and time matter
Pearson correlation coefficients for blue UV‐chroma (blue squares) and yellow chroma (yellow circles) for each year for each population. The bars depict the 95% confidence intervals. The dashed lines indicate a coefficient value of zero, or the absence of assortative mating
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383486&req=5

ece32822-fig-0002: Pearson correlation coefficients for blue UV‐chroma (blue squares) and yellow chroma (yellow circles) for each year for each population. The bars depict the 95% confidence intervals. The dashed lines indicate a coefficient value of zero, or the absence of assortative mating
Mentions: For each population and each trait, there was notable variation among years in the strength of assortative mating (see Figure 2 for blue UV‐chroma and yellow chroma; see Appendix S2, Fig. S2.1 for the other three traits). The most positive values were around 0.60 (i.e., 0.60 for blue UV‐chroma in D‐Muro in 2009 and 0.57 for yellow chroma in E‐Muro in 2011), and the most negative values were around −0.40 (−0.39 for blue brightness in E‐Pirio in 2008).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Assortative mating is a potential outcome of sexual selection, and estimating its level is important to better understand local adaptation and underlying trait evolution. However, assortative mating studies frequently base their conclusions on small numbers of individuals sampled over short periods of time and limited spatial scales even though spatiotemporal variation is common. Here, we characterized assortative mating patterns over 10 years in four populations of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a passerine bird. We focused on two plumage ornaments—the blue crown and the yellow breast patch. Based on data for 1,657 pairs of birds, we found large interannual variation: assortative mating varied from positive to negative. To determine whether there was nonetheless a general trend in the data, we ran a within‐study meta‐analysis. It revealed that assortative mating was moderately positive for both ornaments. It also showed that mating patterns differed among populations and especially between two neighboring populations that displayed phenotypic divergence. Our results therefore underscore that long‐term studies are needed to draw broad conclusions about mating patterns in natural populations. They also call for studying the potential role of assortative mating in local adaptation and evolution of ornaments in both sexes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus