Title

Revisiting the condition-dependence of melanin-based plumage

Author ORCID Identifier

http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8235-6411 : Oliver Love

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Avian Biology

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Volume

45

Issue

1

First Page

29

Last Page

33

DOI

10.1111/j.1600-048X.2013.00190.x

ISSN

09088857

Abstract

Support against the condition-dependence of melanin plumage signals has relied on data from species exhibiting both melanin- and carotenoid-based plumage ornaments. As the mechanisms leading to variation in carotenoid- and melanin-based plumage differ fundamentally, these systems may not be ideal to assess the condition-dependence of melanin signals. Instead, we hypothesized that melanin-plumage is more likely to signal condition in purely achromatic species. We performed a meta-analysis reviewing evidence for condition-dependent melanic plumage: we compared the net effect size for the relationship between melanin traits and condition in species that are achromatic versus species that also display a carotenoid-based trait. Our results indicate that melanin plumage is condition-dependent in species of both plumage types. Contrarily to our prediction, this finding suggests that melanin ornament condition-dependence is not conditional on the context of other ornaments within a species. Instead, melanin ornaments should be viewed as potential condition-dependent signals in all species. © 2013 The Authors.

E-ISSN

1600048X

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