How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?

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How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers? / de la Hera, Ivan; Schaper, Sonja V.; Diaz, Jose A.; Perez-Tris, Javier; Bensch, Staffan; Luis Telleria, Jose.

I: The Auk, Vol. 128, Nr. 2, 2011, s. 321-329.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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de la Hera, I, Schaper, SV, Diaz, JA, Perez-Tris, J, Bensch, S & Luis Telleria, J 2011, 'How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?', The Auk, vol. 128, nr. 2, s. 321-329. https://doi.org/10.1525/auk.2011.10181

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de la Hera, Ivan ; Schaper, Sonja V. ; Diaz, Jose A. ; Perez-Tris, Javier ; Bensch, Staffan ; Luis Telleria, Jose. / How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?. I: The Auk. 2011 ; Vol. 128, Nr. 2. s. 321-329.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers?

AU - de la Hera, Ivan

AU - Schaper, Sonja V.

AU - Diaz, Jose A.

AU - Perez-Tris, Javier

AU - Bensch, Staffan

AU - Luis Telleria, Jose

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - In birds, molt duration is an important trait that can affect plumage functionality and, consequently, the fitness of individuals. However, knowledge about the factors that affect variation in molt speed is sparse, mostly because of the methodological difficulties of studying avian molt. We used a ptilochronology-based approach to estimate the rate at which tail feathers were produced during molt to shed light on the relationship between molt duration and feather growth rate. For that purpose, we used three data sets. First, we tested whether the average molt durations of 22 passerine species were correlated with the mean growth rates of their feathers, using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistical procedures. Second, we explored this same association among captive Great Tits (Pants major). And third, we took advantage of the biannual complete molt of Willow Warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) to examine whether the feathers synthesized during their short summer molt grew faster than those produced during their long winter molt. Feather growth rates were negatively correlated with molt duration in all analyses, revealing that molt duration can be estimated from the growth rate of a single feather. However, predictive power was limited by the fact that molt duration is modulated mainly by molt intensity, which seems to be correlated with ecological constraints in our interspecific approach. We also discuss the implications of our results for the evolution of molt duration, and the potential application of ptilochronology in its study. Received 2 August 2010, accepted 21 December 2010.

AB - In birds, molt duration is an important trait that can affect plumage functionality and, consequently, the fitness of individuals. However, knowledge about the factors that affect variation in molt speed is sparse, mostly because of the methodological difficulties of studying avian molt. We used a ptilochronology-based approach to estimate the rate at which tail feathers were produced during molt to shed light on the relationship between molt duration and feather growth rate. For that purpose, we used three data sets. First, we tested whether the average molt durations of 22 passerine species were correlated with the mean growth rates of their feathers, using both conventional and phylogenetically corrected statistical procedures. Second, we explored this same association among captive Great Tits (Pants major). And third, we took advantage of the biannual complete molt of Willow Warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) to examine whether the feathers synthesized during their short summer molt grew faster than those produced during their long winter molt. Feather growth rates were negatively correlated with molt duration in all analyses, revealing that molt duration can be estimated from the growth rate of a single feather. However, predictive power was limited by the fact that molt duration is modulated mainly by molt intensity, which seems to be correlated with ecological constraints in our interspecific approach. We also discuss the implications of our results for the evolution of molt duration, and the potential application of ptilochronology in its study. Received 2 August 2010, accepted 21 December 2010.

KW - comparative method

KW - migration constraints

KW - molt evolution

KW - phenotypic

KW - diversity analysis programs (PDAP)

KW - phylogenetically independent

KW - contrasts

U2 - 10.1525/auk.2011.10181

DO - 10.1525/auk.2011.10181

M3 - Article

VL - 128

SP - 321

EP - 329

JO - Auk

JF - Auk

SN - 0004-8038

IS - 2

ER -