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Plos One : Flight Performance and Feather Quality ; Paying the Price of Overlapping Moult and Breeding in a Tropical Highland Bird, Volume 8

By Saino, Nicola

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Book Id: WPLBN0003948579
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Flight Performance and Feather Quality ; Paying the Price of Overlapping Moult and Breeding in a Tropical Highland Bird, Volume 8  
Author: Saino, Nicola
Volume: Volume 8
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary)
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos

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Saino, N. (n.d.). Plos One : Flight Performance and Feather Quality ; Paying the Price of Overlapping Moult and Breeding in a Tropical Highland Bird, Volume 8. Retrieved from http://netlibrary.net/


Description
Description : A temporal separation of energetically costly life history events like reproduction and maintenance of the integumentary system is thought to be promoted by selection to avoid trade-offs and maximize fitness. It has therefore remained somewhat of a paradox that certain vertebrate species can undergo both events simultaneously. Identifying potential costs of overlapping two demanding life history stages will further our understanding of the selection pressures that shape the temporal regulation of life history events in vertebrates. We studied free-living tropical Slaty brush-finches (Atlapetes schistaceus), in which individuals spontaneously overlap reproduction and moult or undergo both events in separation. To assess possible costs of such an overlap we quantified feather quality and flight performance of individuals in different states. We determined individual’s life history state by measuring gonad size and scoring moult stage, and collected a newly grown 7th primary wing feather for later analysis of feather quality. Finally, we quantified flight performance for each individual in the wild. Overlapping individuals produced lighter and shorter wing feathers than individuals just moulting, with females decreasing feather quality more strongly during the overlap than males. Moreover, overlapping individuals had a reduced flight speed during escape flights, while their foraging flight speed was unaffected. Despite overlappers being larger and having a smaller wing area, their lower body mass resulted in a similar wing load as in breeders or moulters. Individuals measured repeatedly in different states also showed significant decreases in feather quality and escape flight speed during the overlap. Reduced escape flight speed may represent a major consequence of the overlap by increasing predation risk. Our data document costs to undergoing two life history stages simultaneously, which likely arise from energetic trade-offs. Impairments in individual quality and performance may represent important factors that select for temporal separation of life history stages in other species.

 

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