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Type: Journal article
Title: Eggshell pigment composition covaries with phylogeny but not with life history or with nesting ecology traits of British passerines
Author: Brulez, K.
Mikšík, I.
Cooney, C.
Hauber, M.
Lovell, P.
Maurer, G.
Portugal, S.
Russell, D.
Reynolds, S.
Cassey, P.
Citation: Ecology and Evolution, 2016; 6(6):1637-1645
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2045-7758
Statement of
Kaat Brulez, Ivan Mikšík, Christopher R. Cooney, Mark E. Hauber, Paul George Lovell, Golo Maurer, Steven J. Portugal, Douglas Russell, Silas James Reynolds, Phillip Cassey
Abstract: No single hypothesis is likely to explain the diversity in eggshell coloration and patterning across birds, suggesting that eggshell appearance is most likely to have evolved to fulfill many nonexclusive functions. By controlling for nonindependent phylogenetic associations between related species, we describe this diversity using museum eggshells of 71 British breeding passerine species to examine how eggshell pigment composition and concentrations vary with phylogeny and with life-history and nesting ecology traits. Across species, concentrations of biliverdin and protoporphyrin, the two main pigments found in eggshells, were strongly and positively correlated, and both pigments strongly covaried with phylogenetic relatedness. Controlling for phylogeny, cavity-nesting species laid eggs with lower protoporphyrin concentrations in the shell, while higher biliverdin concentrations were associated with thicker eggshells for species of all nest types. Overall, these relationships between eggshell pigment concentrations and the biology of passerines are similar to those previously found in nonpasserine eggs, and imply that phylogenetic dependence must be considered across the class in further explanations of the functional significance of avian eggshell coloration.
Keywords: Biliverdin; eggshell coloration; eggshell pigment; phylogeny; protoporphyrin
Rights: © 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
RMID: 0030045820
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1960
Appears in Collections:Environment Institute publications

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