Learn More
Glucocorticoid (cort) hormones are increasingly applied in studies of free-ranging animals, with elevated baseline cort levels generally assumed to indicate individuals or populations in worse condition and with lower fitness (the Cort-Fitness Hypothesis). The relationship between cort and fitness is rarely validated and studies investigating the(More)
Humans affect biodiversity at the genetic, species, community, and ecosystem levels. This impact on genetic diversity is critical, because genetic diversity is the raw material of evolutionary change, including adaptation and speciation. Two forces affecting genetic variation are genetic drift (which decreases genetic variation within but increases genetic(More)
A common criticism of nestbox studies is one of creating artificial nesting conditions and breeding behavior different from what would be seen under natural conditions. We assessed the frequency of extra-pair paternity (percentage of broods with at least one extra-pair young) in 25 families of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting in natural cavities(More)
Sociality is associated with increased risks of parasitism, predation, and social competition, which may interact because social stress can reduce immunity, and parasitized individuals are more likely to fall prey to a predator. A mechanism allowing evolution of sociality in spite of high costs of parasitism is increased investment in antiparasite defenses.(More)
Why do females of many species mate with more than one male? One of the main hypotheses suggests that female promiscuity is an insurance mechanism against the potential detrimental effects of inbreeding. Accordingly, females should preferably mate with less related males in multiple or extrapair mating. Here we analyse paternity, relatedness among mating(More)
Spermatozoa are among the most diversified cells in the animal kingdom, but the underlying evolutionary forces affecting intraspecific variation in sperm morphology are poorly understood. It has been hypothesized that sperm competition is a potent selection pressure on sperm variation within species. Here, we examine intraspecific variation in total sperm(More)
In many avian species, a part of the population is present at the breeding grounds but does not breed. Current theories generally assume that floaters are younger or lower-quality individuals, and empirical data confirm this. However, floating could also arise as an alternative strategy to breeding, if floaters are able to reproduce via extra-pair(More)
Recent studies of monogamous tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) suggest that females may receive some type of genetic benefit from extra-pair fertilizations. In this study we attempted to determine what type of genetic benefits might be gained by females. We compared numerous morphological and behavioral traits (Table 1) of every male nesting on one grid(More)
When males become more ornamented and reproduce more successfully as they grow older, phenotypic correlations between ornament exaggeration and reproductive success can be confounded with age effects in cross-sectional studies, and thus say relatively little about sexual selection on these traits. This is exemplified here in a correlative study of male(More)
Least flycatchers (Empidonax minimus) and American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) overlap in the use of food resources on their breeding grounds, promoting high levels of interspecific aggression by the socially dominant flycatcher. We examined the role of song in this interspecific aggression by using repeated-measures-designed playback experiments and(More)