Male Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) with Brighter Ornaments Have Higher Virus Infection Clearance Rate

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:Lindström, K, Lundström, J
Journal:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume:48
Issue:1
Date Published:2000
ISBN Number:03405443
Keywords:Carduelis, Carduelis chloris, Chloris, Chloris chloris, Fringillidae
Abstract:Hamilton and Zuk proposed that bright plumage in birds indicates genetic resistance to parasites, and that by selecting brighter males as mates, females can increase their offspring's fitness due to this inherited resistance. The theory predicts a negative relationship between parasite load and plumage brightness in males. We used Sindbis virus clearance rate after an experimental infection to quantify parasite resistance in male greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) and related variation in clearance rate with variation in male plumage brightness. We found that certain aspects of brightness of the male plumage (i.e. tail-patch area) could be used to predict the virus infection clearance rate. Wing brightness was uninformative of virus clearance rate, but revealed age class. We found no clear relationship between antibody production rate and virus clearance rate or total viraemia. However, males with large tail patches tended to have a higher antibody production rate. The results suggest that the size of the male tail patch may function as an indicator of an individual male's ability to resist parasite infections, thus supporting the Hamilton-Zuk theory for a novel taxon of parasites, a virus.
URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/4601777
Short Title:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith