Complexity and integration in sexual ornamentation

An example with carotenoid and melanin plumage pigmentation

Alexander Badyaev, R. L. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual ornaments often consist of several components produced by distinct developmental processes. The complexity of sexual ornaments might be favoured by mate choice of individual components in different environments which ultimately results in weak interrelationships (integration) among the developmental processes that produce these components. At the same time, sexual selection for greater exaggeration of individual components favours their stronger co-dependence on organismal resources. This should ultimately produce stronger condition-mediated integration among ornaments' components in individuals with the most exaggerated ornamentation. Here we distinguish between these two sources of integration by examining the relationship between integration and elaboration of sexual ornamentation in three bird species: two with carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation (the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus and common redpoll, Carduelis flammea) and a species with melanin-based sexual ornamentation (house sparrow, Passer domesticus). We found that integration of components varied with elaboration of carotenoid-based ornamentation but not of melanin ornamentation. In the house finches, integration was the highest in individuals with small ornaments and decreased with ornament elaboration whereas the pattern was the opposite in common redpolls. These results suggest that in these species integration and complexity of carotenoid-based ornamental components are due to shared condition-dependence of distinct developmental pathways, whereas integration and complexity of the melanin ornamentation is due to organismal integration of developmental pathways and is largely condition-and environment-invariant. Thus, functionally, ornamentation of the house sparrows can be considered a single trait, whereas complexity of the house finch and redpoll ornamentation varies with ornament elaboration and individual condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1327
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Fingerprint

Finches
melanin
plumage
ornamentation
Melanins
Pigmentation
Carotenoids
carotenoid
pigmentation
Sparrows
Passer domesticus
carotenoids
Carduelis
Birds
mating behavior
sexual selection
Carpodacus mexicanus
birds
mate choice

Keywords

  • Carotenoids
  • Coloration
  • Developmental and functional integration
  • Melanins
  • Modularity
  • Sexual ornaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Palaeontology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Complexity and integration in sexual ornamentation : An example with carotenoid and melanin plumage pigmentation. / Badyaev, Alexander; Young, R. L.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 17, No. 6, 11.2004, p. 1317-1327.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{90b57875d5214207a26978ecf62c1a31,
title = "Complexity and integration in sexual ornamentation: An example with carotenoid and melanin plumage pigmentation",
abstract = "Sexual ornaments often consist of several components produced by distinct developmental processes. The complexity of sexual ornaments might be favoured by mate choice of individual components in different environments which ultimately results in weak interrelationships (integration) among the developmental processes that produce these components. At the same time, sexual selection for greater exaggeration of individual components favours their stronger co-dependence on organismal resources. This should ultimately produce stronger condition-mediated integration among ornaments' components in individuals with the most exaggerated ornamentation. Here we distinguish between these two sources of integration by examining the relationship between integration and elaboration of sexual ornamentation in three bird species: two with carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation (the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus and common redpoll, Carduelis flammea) and a species with melanin-based sexual ornamentation (house sparrow, Passer domesticus). We found that integration of components varied with elaboration of carotenoid-based ornamentation but not of melanin ornamentation. In the house finches, integration was the highest in individuals with small ornaments and decreased with ornament elaboration whereas the pattern was the opposite in common redpolls. These results suggest that in these species integration and complexity of carotenoid-based ornamental components are due to shared condition-dependence of distinct developmental pathways, whereas integration and complexity of the melanin ornamentation is due to organismal integration of developmental pathways and is largely condition-and environment-invariant. Thus, functionally, ornamentation of the house sparrows can be considered a single trait, whereas complexity of the house finch and redpoll ornamentation varies with ornament elaboration and individual condition.",
keywords = "Carotenoids, Coloration, Developmental and functional integration, Melanins, Modularity, Sexual ornaments",
author = "Alexander Badyaev and Young, {R. L.}",
year = "2004",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1111/j.1420-9101.2004.00781.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "1317--1327",
journal = "Journal of Evolutionary Biology",
issn = "1010-061X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Complexity and integration in sexual ornamentation

T2 - An example with carotenoid and melanin plumage pigmentation

AU - Badyaev, Alexander

AU - Young, R. L.

PY - 2004/11

Y1 - 2004/11

N2 - Sexual ornaments often consist of several components produced by distinct developmental processes. The complexity of sexual ornaments might be favoured by mate choice of individual components in different environments which ultimately results in weak interrelationships (integration) among the developmental processes that produce these components. At the same time, sexual selection for greater exaggeration of individual components favours their stronger co-dependence on organismal resources. This should ultimately produce stronger condition-mediated integration among ornaments' components in individuals with the most exaggerated ornamentation. Here we distinguish between these two sources of integration by examining the relationship between integration and elaboration of sexual ornamentation in three bird species: two with carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation (the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus and common redpoll, Carduelis flammea) and a species with melanin-based sexual ornamentation (house sparrow, Passer domesticus). We found that integration of components varied with elaboration of carotenoid-based ornamentation but not of melanin ornamentation. In the house finches, integration was the highest in individuals with small ornaments and decreased with ornament elaboration whereas the pattern was the opposite in common redpolls. These results suggest that in these species integration and complexity of carotenoid-based ornamental components are due to shared condition-dependence of distinct developmental pathways, whereas integration and complexity of the melanin ornamentation is due to organismal integration of developmental pathways and is largely condition-and environment-invariant. Thus, functionally, ornamentation of the house sparrows can be considered a single trait, whereas complexity of the house finch and redpoll ornamentation varies with ornament elaboration and individual condition.

AB - Sexual ornaments often consist of several components produced by distinct developmental processes. The complexity of sexual ornaments might be favoured by mate choice of individual components in different environments which ultimately results in weak interrelationships (integration) among the developmental processes that produce these components. At the same time, sexual selection for greater exaggeration of individual components favours their stronger co-dependence on organismal resources. This should ultimately produce stronger condition-mediated integration among ornaments' components in individuals with the most exaggerated ornamentation. Here we distinguish between these two sources of integration by examining the relationship between integration and elaboration of sexual ornamentation in three bird species: two with carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation (the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus and common redpoll, Carduelis flammea) and a species with melanin-based sexual ornamentation (house sparrow, Passer domesticus). We found that integration of components varied with elaboration of carotenoid-based ornamentation but not of melanin ornamentation. In the house finches, integration was the highest in individuals with small ornaments and decreased with ornament elaboration whereas the pattern was the opposite in common redpolls. These results suggest that in these species integration and complexity of carotenoid-based ornamental components are due to shared condition-dependence of distinct developmental pathways, whereas integration and complexity of the melanin ornamentation is due to organismal integration of developmental pathways and is largely condition-and environment-invariant. Thus, functionally, ornamentation of the house sparrows can be considered a single trait, whereas complexity of the house finch and redpoll ornamentation varies with ornament elaboration and individual condition.

KW - Carotenoids

KW - Coloration

KW - Developmental and functional integration

KW - Melanins

KW - Modularity

KW - Sexual ornaments

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=3042841208&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=3042841208&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2004.00781.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2004.00781.x

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 1317

EP - 1327

JO - Journal of Evolutionary Biology

JF - Journal of Evolutionary Biology

SN - 1010-061X

IS - 6

ER -