Wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex-dependence in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica)

Wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex-dependence in barn... Variation in wing morphology results from the combination of diverse selection pressures. Wing feather morphology within species varies with sex and ontogenetic effects, and also with ecological factors. Yet, the direction of causation for the wing morphology–ecology association remains to be elucidated. Under the ‘ecology-dependence’ hypothesis, wing morphology covaries with ecological conditions, because the latter affect feather molt. Alternatively, the ‘habitat choice’ hypothesis posits that individuals with different wing morphology choose different habitats because of the habitat-dependent advantages of a specific wing morphology. We tested these competing hypotheses in the migratory, aerially insectivorous barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). We quantified wing morphology (isometric size, pointedness, and convexity) on the same individuals during consecutive breeding seasons (i.e., before and after molt in sub-Saharan wintering areas) and located wintering areas using light-level geolocators. Wing pointedness of females but not males during 1 year negatively correlated with vegetation vigor (gauged by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) in the African area where individuals spent the next winter. Partial least-squares path modelling showed that the association between wing morphology and NDVI was sex-dependent. Conversely, NDVI during wintering did not predict wing morphology in the next breeding season. Because wing morphology can have carry-over effects on subsequent performance, we investigated selection on wing traits and found strong positive fecundity selection on wing size of females. Our results suggest that female barn swallows choose their wintering habitat depending on their wing morphology. In addition, directional fecundity selection operates on females, suggesting sex-dependence of current selection on the flight apparatus. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

Wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex-dependence in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica)

Wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex-dependence in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica)

Oecologia (2017) 184:799–812 DOI 10.1007/s00442-017-3918-0 BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY – ORIGINAL RESEARCH Wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex‑dependence in barn swallows ( Hirundo rustica) 1 2 1 3 Nicola Saino  · Roberto Ambrosini  · Manuela Caprioli  · Felix Liechti  · 1 1 1,3 Andrea Romano  · Diego Rubolini  · Chiara Scandolara   Received: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published online: 25 July 2017 © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017 Abstract Variation in wing morphology results from the with vegetation vigor (gauged by the Normalized Differ - combination of diverse selection pressures. Wing feather ence Vegetation Index; NDVI) in the African area where morphology within species varies with sex and ontogenetic individuals spent the next winter. Partial least-squares path effects, and also with ecological factors. Yet, the direction modelling showed that the association between wing mor- of causation for the wing morphology–ecology association phology and NDVI was sex-dependent. Conversely, NDVI remains to be elucidated. Under the ‘ecology-dependence’ during wintering did not predict wing morphology in the hypothesis, wing morphology covaries with ecological next breeding season. Because wing morphology can have conditions, because the latter affect feather molt. Alterna - carry-over effects on subsequent performance, we inves - tively, the ‘habitat choice’ hypothesis posits that individuals tigated selection on wing traits and found strong positive with different wing morphology choose different habitats fecundity selection on wing size of females. Our results sug- because of the habitat-dependent advantages of a specific gest that female barn swallows choose their wintering habi- wing morphology. We tested these competing hypotheses in tat...
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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00442-017-3918-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Variation in wing morphology results from the combination of diverse selection pressures. Wing feather morphology within species varies with sex and ontogenetic effects, and also with ecological factors. Yet, the direction of causation for the wing morphology–ecology association remains to be elucidated. Under the ‘ecology-dependence’ hypothesis, wing morphology covaries with ecological conditions, because the latter affect feather molt. Alternatively, the ‘habitat choice’ hypothesis posits that individuals with different wing morphology choose different habitats because of the habitat-dependent advantages of a specific wing morphology. We tested these competing hypotheses in the migratory, aerially insectivorous barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). We quantified wing morphology (isometric size, pointedness, and convexity) on the same individuals during consecutive breeding seasons (i.e., before and after molt in sub-Saharan wintering areas) and located wintering areas using light-level geolocators. Wing pointedness of females but not males during 1 year negatively correlated with vegetation vigor (gauged by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) in the African area where individuals spent the next winter. Partial least-squares path modelling showed that the association between wing morphology and NDVI was sex-dependent. Conversely, NDVI during wintering did not predict wing morphology in the next breeding season. Because wing morphology can have carry-over effects on subsequent performance, we investigated selection on wing traits and found strong positive fecundity selection on wing size of females. Our results suggest that female barn swallows choose their wintering habitat depending on their wing morphology. In addition, directional fecundity selection operates on females, suggesting sex-dependence of current selection on the flight apparatus.

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 25, 2017

References

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