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Strong effects of various incidence and observation angles on spectrometric assessment of plumage colouration in birds

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Abstract
The assessment of plumage colouration has become a common procedure in many ornithological studies, especially after the discovery of differences between avian and human visual systems, namely the avian ability to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths. There are many techniques available for plumage colour assessment. Nevertheless, unidirectional reflectance spectrometry seems actually to be the method of choice and is used in most studies. The active avian visual communication skills, the physical characteristics of the plumage surface and the birds' body shape prompted us to study plumage colouration with different angles of incidence and observation by bidirectional reflectance spectrometry. In this study, we explore the effect of different angles of incidence and observation, on a single plane of incidence, on the reflectance spectrometric assessment of five differently coloured body regions of the blue fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva). Measurements were made using a AVS-USB2000 spectrometer with a DH-2000 light source and two different reflection probes (bifurcated fibre optic probe and a specially designed fibre holder). The results of this study illustrate clear angle dependence of colour parameters in differently coloured non-iridescent plumage regions of the blue fronted Amazon parrot. Our results may have direct implications on the observed transmitted information of display and its associated predation risk (trade-off) in birds, but also in other animals. Moreover, the results show that unidirectional reflectance spectrometry alone may be a rather limited procedure to quantify and compare true colour of a complex surface such as birds' plumage. Therefore, slight but behavioural important characteristics of plumage pattern may remain undiscovered with this method.
Keywords
CAROTENOIDS, PATTERNS, VISION, EVOLUTION, ENVIRONMENT, colour assessment, angle geometry, reflectance, avian colour, spectrometry, AMBIENT LIGHT, SEXUAL SELECTION, LEK PLACEMENT, REFLECTANCE, PARUS-MAJOR

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Chicago
Santos, SICO, Liesbeth De Neve, JT Lumeij, and MI Forschler. 2007. “Strong Effects of Various Incidence and Observation Angles on Spectrometric Assessment of Plumage Colouration in Birds.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61 (9): 1499–1506.
APA
Santos, S., De Neve, L., Lumeij, J., & Forschler, M. (2007). Strong effects of various incidence and observation angles on spectrometric assessment of plumage colouration in birds. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 61(9), 1499–1506.
Vancouver
1.
Santos S, De Neve L, Lumeij J, Forschler M. Strong effects of various incidence and observation angles on spectrometric assessment of plumage colouration in birds. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. 2007;61(9):1499–506.
MLA
Santos, SICO, Liesbeth De Neve, JT Lumeij, et al. “Strong Effects of Various Incidence and Observation Angles on Spectrometric Assessment of Plumage Colouration in Birds.” BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 61.9 (2007): 1499–1506. Print.
@article{1233192,
  abstract     = {The assessment of plumage colouration has become a common procedure in many ornithological studies, especially after the discovery of differences between avian and human visual systems, namely the avian ability to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths. There are many techniques available for plumage colour assessment. Nevertheless, unidirectional reflectance spectrometry seems actually to be the method of choice and is used in most studies. The active avian visual communication skills, the physical characteristics of the plumage surface and the birds' body shape prompted us to study plumage colouration with different angles of incidence and observation by bidirectional reflectance spectrometry. In this study, we explore the effect of different angles of incidence and observation, on a single plane of incidence, on the reflectance spectrometric assessment of five differently coloured body regions of the blue fronted Amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva). Measurements were made using a AVS-USB2000 spectrometer with a DH-2000 light source and two different reflection probes (bifurcated fibre optic probe and a specially designed fibre holder). The results of this study illustrate clear angle dependence of colour parameters in differently coloured non-iridescent plumage regions of the blue fronted Amazon parrot. Our results may have direct implications on the observed transmitted information of display and its associated predation risk (trade-off) in birds, but also in other animals. Moreover, the results show that unidirectional reflectance spectrometry alone may be a rather limited procedure to quantify and compare true colour of a complex surface such as birds' plumage. Therefore, slight but behavioural important characteristics of plumage pattern may remain undiscovered with this method.},
  author       = {Santos, SICO and De Neve, Liesbeth and Lumeij, JT and Forschler, MI},
  issn         = {0340-5443},
  journal      = {BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {CAROTENOIDS,PATTERNS,VISION,EVOLUTION,ENVIRONMENT,colour assessment,angle geometry,reflectance,avian colour,spectrometry,AMBIENT LIGHT,SEXUAL SELECTION,LEK PLACEMENT,REFLECTANCE,PARUS-MAJOR},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1499--1506},
  title        = {Strong effects of various incidence and observation angles on spectrometric assessment of plumage colouration in birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-007-0373-7},
  volume       = {61},
  year         = {2007},
}

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