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Senar J.C.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Senar J.C.,Uppsala University
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

There is currently considerable controversy in evolutionary ecology revolving around whether social familiarity brings attraction when a female chooses a mate. The topic of familiarity is significant because by avoiding or preferring familiar individuals as mates, the potential for local adaptation may be reduced or favoured. The topic becomes even more interesting if we simultaneously analyse preferences for familiarity and sexual ornaments, because when familiarity influences female mating preferences, this could very significantly affect the strength of sexual selection on male ornamentation. Here, we have used mate-choice experiments in siskins Carduelis spinus to analyse how familiarity and patterns of ornamentation (i.e. the size of wing patches) interact to influence mating success. Our results show that females clearly prefer familiar individuals when choosing between familiar and unfamiliar males with similar-sized wing patches. Furthermore, when females were given the choice between a highly ornamented unfamiliar male and a less ornamented familiar male, half of the females still preferred the socially familiar birds as mates. Our finding suggests that male familiarity may be as important as sexual ornaments in affecting female behaviour in mate choice. Given that the potential for local adaptation may be favoured by preferring familiar individuals as mates, social familiarity as a mate-choice criterion may become a potential area of fruitful research on sympatric speciation processes. Source


Senar J.C.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Mateos-Gonzalez F.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Mateos-Gonzalez F.,Uppsala University | Uribe F.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Arroyo L.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

There is currently considerable controversy in evolutionary ecology revolving around whether social familiarity brings attraction when a female chooses a mate. The topic of familiarity is significant because by avoiding or preferring familiar individuals as mates, the potential for local adaptation may be reduced or favoured. The topic becomes even more interesting if we simultaneously analyse preferences for familiarity and sexual ornaments, because when familiarity influences female mating preferences, this could very significantly affect the strength of sexual selection on male ornamentation. Here, we have used mate-choice experiments in siskins Carduelis spinus to analyse how familiarity and patterns of ornamentation (i.e. the size of wing patches) interact to influence mating success. Our results show that females clearly prefer familiar individuals when choosing between familiar and unfamiliar males with similar-sized wing patches. Furthermore, when females were given the choice between a highly ornamented unfamiliar male and a less ornamented familiar male, half of the females still preferred the socially familiar birds as mates. Our finding suggests that male familiarity may be as important as sexual ornaments in affecting female behaviour in mate choice. Given that the potential for local adaptation may be favoured by preferring familiar individuals as mates, social familiarity as a mate-choice criterion may become a potential area of fruitful research on sympatric speciation processes. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source


Giraudeau M.,University of Zurich | Barcelo M.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Senar J.C.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2014

In many bird species, yearling individuals are less colorful than older ones. However, the causal factors behind this difference of color are for the moment unknown. Here, we used ptilochronology in Great Tits Parus major to assess how nutritional conditions experienced by the same birds as yearling and adult are associated with this increase of coloration. Nutritional status was not different between yearling and adult individuals, suggesting that the increase in coloration with age is not due to an increase in foraging efficiency with age. Instead, our study implicates other behavioral and/or ecophysiological factors that drive yearling/adult differences in carotenoid ornamentation. © Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2014. Source


Torne-Noguera A.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Pagani-Nunez E.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit | Senar J.C.,Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Associate Research Unit
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2014

Animal research commonly requires temporary handling of study animals. In this study, we compared the response to handling stress in urban and forest Great Tits (Parus major). We measured breath rate, which has been suggested as a proxy of the stress response of the bird. Urban birds displayed higher breath rates than forest birds. Results suggest that the effect of handling can vary from one habitat to another and should be taken into account in future studies on the topic. © 2013 Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. Source

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