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Many common environmental pollutants, together with nuclear radiation, are recognized as genotoxic. There is, however, very little information on pollution-related genetic effects on free-living animal populations, especially in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated whether genetic diversity in two small insectivorous passerines, the great tit (Parus(More)
Survival is one of the most central population measures when the effects of the pollution are studied in natural bird populations. However, only few studies have actually measured rigorous survival estimates on adult birds. In recent years there has been a methodological advance in survival analyses by mark-recapture models. We modelled local survival(More)
1. Climate warming has led to shifts in the seasonal timing of species. These shifts can differ across trophic levels, and as a result, predator phenology can get out of synchrony with prey phenology. This can have major consequences for predators such as population declines owing to low reproductive success. However, such trophic interactions are likely to(More)
The role of natural selection in shaping adaptive trait differentiation in natural populations has long been recognized. Determining its molecular basis, however, remains a challenge. Here, we search for signals of selection in candidate genes for colour and its perception in a passerine bird. Pied flycatcher plumage varies geographically in both its(More)
Reproductive, phenotypic and life-history traits in many animal and plant taxa show geographic variation, indicating spatial variation in selection regimes. Maternal deposition to avian eggs, such as hormones, antibodies and antioxidants, critically affect development of the offspring, with long-lasting effects on the phenotype and fitness. Little is(More)
Carotenoids in the egg yolks of birds are considered to be important antioxidants and immune stimulants during the rapid growth of embryos. Yolk carotenoid composition is strongly affected by the carotenoid composition of the female's diet at the time of egg formation. Spatial and temporal differences in carotenoid availability may thus be reflected in yolk(More)
Birds have been used as bioindicators of pollution, such as toxic metals. Levels of pollutants in eggs are especially interesting, as developing birds are more sensitive to detrimental effects of pollutants than adults. Only very few studies have monitored intraspecific, large-scale variation in metal pollution across a species' breeding range. We studied(More)
Changes in the timing of reproduction of birds should provide good evidence of large-scale climate fluctuations. However, geographically separate populations of one species may respond variably. We analyzed egg laying dates of nine Eurasian populations of the Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus collected between 1969 and 2010. The timing of breeding(More)
The change in the summer bird population of birch forests along the gradient of pollution by emissions from the Karabash Copper Smelter (Chelyabinsk oblast) was investigated in 2009 by means of point counts. As pollution grows, the total density, species richness and diversity of bird population decrease; the proportion of hole nesters in the community(More)
Geographic variation in phenotypes plays a key role in fundamental evolutionary processes such as local adaptation, population differentiation and speciation, but the selective forces behind it are rarely known. We found support for the hypothesis that geographic variation in plumage traits of the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca is explained by character(More)