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Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color?

Matthew Shawkey UGent, Shreekumar R Pillai and Geoffrey E Hill (2009) NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN. 96(1). p.123-128
abstract
Models of parasite-mediated sexual selection propose that males with more elaborate sexual traits will have fewer parasites. These models have generally been tested using metazoan or protozoan parasites of the blood, gut, or integument. Fewer studies have examined sexual ornaments in relation to bacterial infections. While most surface bacteria are harmless or beneficial, feather-degrading bacteria may have detrimental effects. In this study, we examined the relationships between overall bacterial load, feather-degrading bacterial load, and sexually selected carotenoid-based plumage color in a wild population of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). We found that males with the redder plumage preferred by females had similar overall bacterial loads, but lower feather-degrading bacterial loads, than males with less red plumage. These data suggest that plumage color can signal abundance of feather-degrading bacteria to potential mates. It remains unclear whether feather-degrading bacteria directly or indirectly affect plumage color, but the observed correlations suggest that feather-degrading bacteria may play some role in sexual selection.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Carotenoids, Preen oil, House finch, FINCHES CARPODACUS-MEXICANUS, MALE HOUSE FINCHES, MATE CHOICE, DIVERSITY, BIRDS, PARASITISM, KERATIN, SOIL, PIGMENTATION, EXPRESSION
journal title
NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN
Naturwissenschaften
volume
96
issue
1
pages
123 - 128
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000261791000014
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
2.316 (2009)
JCR rank
8/48 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
0028-1042
DOI
10.1007/s00114-008-0462-0
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
A1
id
7176753
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7176753
date created
2016-04-06 14:02:32
date last changed
2018-05-17 12:09:20
@article{7176753,
  abstract     = {Models of parasite-mediated sexual selection propose that males with more elaborate sexual traits will have fewer parasites. These models have generally been tested using metazoan or protozoan parasites of the blood, gut, or integument. Fewer studies have examined sexual ornaments in relation to bacterial infections. While most surface bacteria are harmless or beneficial, feather-degrading bacteria may have detrimental effects. In this study, we examined the relationships between overall bacterial load, feather-degrading bacterial load, and sexually selected carotenoid-based plumage color in a wild population of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). We found that males with the redder plumage preferred by females had similar overall bacterial loads, but lower feather-degrading bacterial loads, than males with less red plumage. These data suggest that plumage color can signal abundance of feather-degrading bacteria to potential mates. It remains unclear whether feather-degrading bacteria directly or indirectly affect plumage color, but the observed correlations suggest that feather-degrading bacteria may play some role in sexual selection.},
  author       = {Shawkey, Matthew and Pillai, Shreekumar R and Hill, Geoffrey E},
  issn         = {0028-1042},
  journal      = {NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN},
  keyword      = {Carotenoids,Preen oil,House finch,FINCHES CARPODACUS-MEXICANUS,MALE HOUSE FINCHES,MATE CHOICE,DIVERSITY,BIRDS,PARASITISM,KERATIN,SOIL,PIGMENTATION,EXPRESSION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {123--128},
  title        = {Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-008-0462-0},
  volume       = {96},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Shawkey, Matthew, Shreekumar R Pillai, and Geoffrey E Hill. 2009. “Do Feather-degrading Bacteria Affect Sexually Selected Plumage Color?” Naturwissenschaften 96 (1): 123–128.
APA
Shawkey, Matthew, Pillai, S. R., & Hill, G. E. (2009). Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color? NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN, 96(1), 123–128.
Vancouver
1.
Shawkey M, Pillai SR, Hill GE. Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color? NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN. 2009;96(1):123–8.
MLA
Shawkey, Matthew, Shreekumar R Pillai, and Geoffrey E Hill. “Do Feather-degrading Bacteria Affect Sexually Selected Plumage Color?” NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN 96.1 (2009): 123–128. Print.