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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)
Effects of toxic emissions (heavy metals and sulfur dioxide) on reproductive parameters of adult pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca Pall.) and morphophysiological characteristics of their progeny have been studied in the vicinity of the Middle Ural Copper-Smelting Plant. In polluted areas, the fecundity of adult birds is lower, mortality among the progeny(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)
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)
The pied flycatcher is one of the most phenotypically variable bird species in Europe. The geographic variation in phenotypes has often been attributed to spatial variation in selection regimes that is associated with the presence or absence of the congeneric collared flycatcher. Spatial variation in phenotypes could however also be generated by spatially(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)
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)
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)
Contaminant exposure can vary between species but primary causes of it are often unclear. In order to estimate heavy metal intake of two sympatric passerines - Ficedula hypoleuca Pall. and Parus ater L. - we studied nestling diet and metal concentrations in prey invertebrates, near the Middle Ural copper smelter and in an unpolluted area. Diet of P. ater(More)