Csongor István Vágási

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BACKGROUND Many animals display colorful signals in their integument which convey information about the quality of their bearer. Theoretically, these ornaments incur differential production and/or maintenance costs that enforce their honesty. However, the proximate mechanisms of production costs are poorly understood and contentious in cases of(More)
BACKGROUND The trade-off between current and residual reproductive values is central to life history theory, although the possible mechanisms underlying this trade-off are largely unknown. The 'molt constraint' hypothesis suggests that molt and plumage functionality are compromised by the preceding breeding event, yet this candidate mechanism remains(More)
The preen gland is a holocrine sebaceous gland of the avian integument which produces an oily secretion that is spread on the plumage during preening. It has been suggested that birds may defend themselves against feather-degrading bacteria (FDB) and other potential pathogens using preen gland secretions. However, besides some in vitro studies, the in vivo(More)
Long-distance migratory birds have relatively smaller brains than short-distance migrants or residents. Here, we test whether reduction in brain size with migration distance can be generalized across the different brain regions suggested to play key roles in orientation during migration. Based on 152 bird species, belonging to 61 avian families from six(More)
Constitutive innate immunity is the first lined of defence against infections, but the causes determining its variability among species are poorly understood. The pace of life hypothesis predicts that species with a fast speed of life, characterized by high energy turnover and short developmental time, invest relatively little in defence in favour of growth(More)
Migratory flight performance has direct or carry-over effects on fitness. Therefore, selection is expected to act on minimizing the costs of migratory flight, which increases with the distance covered. Aerodynamic theory predicts how morphological adaptations improve flight performance. These predictions have rarely been tested in comparative analyses that(More)
Understanding why host species differ so much in symbiont loads and how this depends on ecological host and symbiont traits is a major issue in the ecology of symbiosis. A first step in this inquiry is to know whether observed differences among host species are species-specific traits or more related with host-symbiont environmental conditions. Here we(More)
Both neutral and adaptive evolutionary processes can cause population divergence, but their relative contributions remain unclear. We investigated the roles of these processes in population divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Romania and Bulgaria, regions characterized by high landscape heterogeneity compared to Western Europe. We asked(More)
Sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. Here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (P1) and the sexually dimorphic outermost (Ta6) and monomorphic second outermost (Ta5) tail feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a Romanian(More)
Flight initiation distance (FID) is the distance at which an individual animal takes flight when approached by a human. This behavioural measure of risk-taking reflects the risk of being captured by real predators, and it correlates with a range of life history traits, as expected if flight distance optimizes risk of predation. Given that FID provides(More)
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