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Ambient light in domed nests and discrimination of foreign egg colors

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Abstract
In cuckoo-host coevolution, rejection of parasite eggs based on visual discrimination is the key host-defensive mechanism reducing the costs of parasitism. Although host discriminatory tasks often occur in variable environmental conditions, the influence of nest light variation on the perceptual processes involved in egg discrimination has been seldom considered. Here, we combine visual modeling, experimental manipulation of nest ambient light, and egg recognition experiments with model eggs differing in background color (cream vs. blue) to explore the possibility that variation in ambient light in magpie (Pica pica) domed nests may affect the perceptual process involved in discrimination of foreign eggs. We found that the architecture of magpie nests affects the quality of ambient light for egg recognition and that changes in luminosity did not differently affect rejection of blue and cream models. However, we found that ejection of model eggs declined throughout the season in nests in which luminosity remained unmodified, but that magpies rejected eggs at a similar rate over the season in nests in which luminosity was increased. These results therefore suggest that variation in ambient light at the nests might potentially influence the perceptual processes involved in visual detection of parasite eggs by cuckoo hosts.
Keywords
Egg discrimination, Ambient light, Visual perception, GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO, EXPERIMENTAL BROOD PARASITISM, SEXUAL SELECTION, CUCULUS-CANORUS, REJECTION BEHAVIOR, REED WARBLERS, MAGPIE HOSTS, COLORATION, EVOLUTION, MIMICRY

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Chicago
Avilés, Jesús M, David Martín-Gálvez, Liesbeth De Neve, Manuel Soler, and Juan J Soler. 2015. “Ambient Light in Domed Nests and Discrimination of Foreign Egg Colors.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69 (3): 425–435.
APA
Avilés, J. M., Martín-Gálvez, D., De Neve, L., Soler, M., & Soler, J. J. (2015). Ambient light in domed nests and discrimination of foreign egg colors. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 69(3), 425–435.
Vancouver
1.
Avilés JM, Martín-Gálvez D, De Neve L, Soler M, Soler JJ. Ambient light in domed nests and discrimination of foreign egg colors. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. 2015;69(3):425–35.
MLA
Avilés, Jesús M et al. “Ambient Light in Domed Nests and Discrimination of Foreign Egg Colors.” BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 69.3 (2015): 425–435. Print.
@article{7196315,
  abstract     = {In cuckoo-host coevolution, rejection of parasite eggs based on visual discrimination is the key host-defensive mechanism reducing the costs of parasitism. Although host discriminatory tasks often occur in variable environmental conditions, the influence of nest light variation on the perceptual processes involved in egg discrimination has been seldom considered. Here, we combine visual modeling, experimental manipulation of nest ambient light, and egg recognition experiments with model eggs differing in background color (cream vs. blue) to explore the possibility that variation in ambient light in magpie (Pica pica) domed nests may affect the perceptual process involved in discrimination of foreign eggs. We found that the architecture of magpie nests affects the quality of ambient light for egg recognition and that changes in luminosity did not differently affect rejection of blue and cream models. However, we found that ejection of model eggs declined throughout the season in nests in which luminosity remained unmodified, but that magpies rejected eggs at a similar rate over the season in nests in which luminosity was increased. These results therefore suggest that variation in ambient light at the nests might potentially influence the perceptual processes involved in visual detection of parasite eggs by cuckoo hosts.},
  author       = {Avilés, Jesús M and Martín-Gálvez, David and De Neve, Liesbeth and Soler, Manuel and Soler, Juan J},
  issn         = {0340-5443},
  journal      = {BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY},
  keywords     = {Egg discrimination,Ambient light,Visual perception,GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO,EXPERIMENTAL BROOD PARASITISM,SEXUAL SELECTION,CUCULUS-CANORUS,REJECTION BEHAVIOR,REED WARBLERS,MAGPIE HOSTS,COLORATION,EVOLUTION,MIMICRY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {425--435},
  title        = {Ambient light in domed nests and discrimination of foreign egg colors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-014-1855-z},
  volume       = {69},
  year         = {2015},
}

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