The developmental stress hypothesis: A special case of the evolution of condition-dependent sexual traits

Buchanan, Katherine L. 2011, The developmental stress hypothesis: A special case of the evolution of condition-dependent sexual traits, Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 12-13.

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Title The developmental stress hypothesis: A special case of the evolution of condition-dependent sexual traits
Author(s) Buchanan, Katherine L.
Journal name Behavioral Ecology
Volume number 22
Issue number 1
Start page 12
End page 13
Total pages 2
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication United States
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1045-2249
1465-7279
Keyword(s) bird song
developmental stress hypothesis
sexual signals
signal evolution
song complexity
Summary The idea that sexually selected traits might be condition dependent is far from novel (Zahavi 1975); however, the developmental stress hypothesis was proposed as a special case because of a highly plausible mechanism: the development of the neural circuits controlling song output coincides with a period of time during which developing birds are likely to be susceptible to stress. The elegant aspect of the hypothesis is that the mechanism is defined and effects can be readily tested (Nowicki et al. 1998; Buchanan et al. 2003). Compared with more general hypotheses about the evolution of condition-dependent sexual traits (Buchanan 2000), the second particularly interesting aspect of the developmental stress hypothesis is that, in some species, individuals may suffer historical markers of stress. This is because in species with a fixed period for neural growth and song learning, there is no possibility for compensation in later life for stress experienced during early development. Females using such a marker of stress may benefit by obtaining a partner whose other cognitive functions have not been impaired by stress.
Language eng
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, Oxford University Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040499

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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