No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach

Bolund E, Schielzeth H, Forstmeier W (2010)
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23(3): 586-597.

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Abstract
The developmental stress hypothesis offers a mechanism to maintain honesty of sexually selected ornaments, because only high quality individuals will be able to develop full ornamentation in the face of stress during early development. Experimental tests of this hypothesis have traditionally involved the manipulation of one aspect of the rearing conditions and an examination of effects on adult traits. Here, we instead use a statistically powerful quantitative genetic approach to detect condition dependence. We use animal models to estimate environmental correlations between a measure of early growth and adult traits. This way, we could make use of the sometimes dramatic differences in early growth of more than 800 individually cross-fostered birds and measure the effect on a total of 23 different traits after birds reached maturity. We find strong effects of environmental growth conditions on adult body size, body mass and fat deposition, moderate effects on beak colour in both sexes, but no effect on song and plumage characters. Rather surprisingly, there was no effect on male attractiveness, both measured in mate choice trials and under socially complex conditions in aviaries. There was a trend for a positive effect of good growth conditions on the success at fertilizing eggs in males breeding in aviaries whereas longevity was not affected in either sex. We conclude that zebra finches are remarkably resilient to food shortage during growth and can compensate for poor growth conditions without much apparent life-history trade-offs. Our results do not support the hypothesis that sexually selected traits show heightened condition dependence compared to nonsexually selected traits.
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Bolund E, Schielzeth H, Forstmeier W. No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2010;23(3):586-597.
Bolund, E., Schielzeth, H., & Forstmeier, W. (2010). No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(3), 586-597.
Bolund, E., Schielzeth, H., and Forstmeier, W. (2010). No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23, 586-597.
Bolund, E., Schielzeth, H., & Forstmeier, W., 2010. No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(3), p 586-597.
E. Bolund, H. Schielzeth, and W. Forstmeier, “No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach”, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 23, 2010, pp. 586-597.
Bolund, E., Schielzeth, H., Forstmeier, W.: No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 23, 586-597 (2010).
Bolund, E., Schielzeth, Holger, and Forstmeier, W. “No heightened condition dependence of zebra finch ornaments - a quantitative genetic approach”. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23.3 (2010): 586-597.
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Schielzeth H, Kempenaers B, Ellegren H, Forstmeier W., Evolution 66(1), 2012
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