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The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is not locally adapted to its reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus host.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21054625     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
The obligate avian brood parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus comprises different strains of females that specialize on particular host species by laying eggs of a constant type that often mimics those of the host. Whether cuckoos are locally adapted for mimicking populations of the hosts on which they are specialized has never been investigated. In this study, we first explored the possibility of local adaptation in cuckoo egg mimicry over a geographical mosaic of selection exerted by one of its main European hosts, the reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus. Secondly, we investigated whether cuckoos inhabiting reed warbler populations with a broad number of alternative suitable hosts at hand were less locally adapted. Cuckoo eggs showed different degrees of mimicry to different reed warbler populations. However, cuckoo eggs did not match the egg phenotypes of their local host population better than eggs of other host populations, indicating that cuckoos were not locally adapted for mimicry on reed warblers. Interestingly, cuckoos exploiting reed warblers in populations with a relatively larger number of co-occurring cuckoo gentes showed lower than average levels of local adaptation in egg volume. Our results suggest that cuckoo local adaptation might be prevented when different cuckoo populations exploit more or fewer different host species, with gene flow or frequent host switches breaking down local adaptation where many host races co-occur.
J M Avilés; J R Vikan; F Fossøy; A Antonov; A Moksnes; E Røskaft; J A Shykoff; A P Møller; H Jensen; P Procházka; B G Stokke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-11-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of evolutionary biology     Volume:  24     ISSN:  1420-9101     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Evol. Biol.     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8809954     Medline TA:  J Evol Biol     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  314-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Departamento de Ecología Morfológica y Funcional, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, C.S.I.C., Almería, Spain.
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