Document Detail


Heritability, plasticity and canalization of Ural owl egg size in a cyclic environment.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18034804     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Avian egg size is highly variable on the population level, but is considered inflexible on the individual level. On the basis of 2969 measurements of individual eggs collected during 1981-2005, we analysed heritability, plasticity and selection on egg size in the Ural owl, a long-lived bird that preys on voles. Vole abundance varied in a 3-year cycle, creating varying food supply across the cycle's phases. Ural owl egg size is heritable (h(2) = 60%). Ural owls lay larger eggs in improved food conditions. On the basis of repeated breeding records of 59 females that bred in all vole cycle phases, we show that intra-individual adjustment (plasticity) explained 22.4% of the variation in egg size across phases. Egg size was under stabilizing selection. Extremely small and extremely large eggs had reduced hatchability, and individuals who laid either large or small eggs had lower lifetime fledgling production than the ones laying intermediately sized eggs. Our findings illustrate how maternal investment in egg size can both be heritable and highly responsive to variable environmental conditions, and suggest that variation in the investment in egg size across individuals is canalized.
Authors:
P Kontiainen; J E Brommer; P Karell; H Pietiäinen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-11-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of evolutionary biology     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1420-9101     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Evol. Biol.     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-03     Completed Date:  2008-04-17     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8809954     Medline TA:  J Evol Biol     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  88-96     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Bird Ecology Unit, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. pekka.kontiainen@helsinki.fi
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Body Size / physiology
Ecosystem*
Female
Male
Ovum / physiology*
Reproduction / genetics,  physiology*
Selection, Genetic*
Sex Factors
Strigiformes / genetics,  physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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