Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions : a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches

Tschirren, B., Rutstein, A. N., Postma, E., Mariette, M. and Griffith, S. C. 2009, Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions : a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches, Journal of evolutionary biology, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 387-395, doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01656.x.

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Title Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions : a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches
Author(s) Tschirren, B.
Rutstein, A. N.
Postma, E.
Mariette, M.ORCID iD for Mariette, M.
Griffith, S. C.
Journal name Journal of evolutionary biology
Volume number 22
Issue number 2
Start page 387
End page 395
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1010-061X
Keyword(s) brood size manipulation
common garden experiment
developmental stress
divergent selection
investment trade-off
life-history strategy
maternal effects
sexual selection
Taeniopygia guttata
Summary Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a ‘common aviary’ experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01656.x
Field of Research 039999 Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
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