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The Role of Ultraviolet Light in Defense of Brood Parasitism by Dawna Lee-Olsen ECOL 484.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Ultraviolet Light in Defense of Brood Parasitism by Dawna Lee-Olsen ECOL 484."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Ultraviolet Light in Defense of Brood Parasitism by Dawna Lee-Olsen ECOL 484

2 Introduction Brood parasitism –host-parasite interactions are examples of co- evolution –possibility of reduced fitness leads to behavioral mechanisms to counteract desertion rejection burial

3 Introduction (cont.) Most birds have tetrachromatic vision –4 types of retinal cones (humans have 3) –enables them to detect near UV wavelengths in the nm range

4 UV Reflectance in Plumage Zebra Finches Blue Throats

5 Methods Literature review consists of 16 articles based on spectra reflectance on nm range –12 studies on host intra-clutch variation –1 study examined role of color characteristics in egg recognition –2 studies used principal components analysis (PCA) 3 components: brightness, brownness, and UV/greenness –1 study examined egg types of generalist cuckoo that parasitized several host species

6 Results Host intra-clutch variation studies –3 studies support hypothesis that rejected host clutches are more dissimilar than accepted ones –2 studies support hypothesis that rejected clutches are less dissimilar –7 studies found no effect of intraclutch variation on rejection

7 Results (cont.) Study on the blunt egg part found –brightness reflected was lower in rejecters than accepters –were darker in host clutches vs. rejected eggs –were lighter in host clutches vs. accepted eggs

8 Results (cont.) 1 study showed significant UV/greenness (PC3) oppoency between host-parasite eggs

9 Results (cont.) 1 study showed common cuckoos populations match eggs of their hosts populations –able to choose nests in which eggs similar to own

10 Results (cont.) 1 study revealed cuckoo eggs mimicked hosts eggs in both spectral shape and brightness

11 Discussion Compared to human vision, spectrometric measures provide good estimates of egg coloration –Gain insight into egg matching previously hidden –may need to evaluate model using artificial or painted eggs –Disadvantage: does not assess spatial pattern of maculation in eggs Ejected parasitic egg more dissimilar than accepted –Hosts recognize eggs based on discordancy or true recognition –Hosts reject eggs based on direct comparisons

12 Discussion (cont.) Host egg discrimination possibly performed at certain wavelengths –explains acceptance of nonmimetic eggs Other mechanisms at work: –hardwiring of avian visual system –acceptance of nonmimetic eggs a function of different light environments –spatial correlation of diet of hosts and parasites residing in same locality

13 Discussion (cont.) Parasites such as cuckoos choose nests with eggs that closely match their own –Could explain the lower levels of rejection in naturally parasitized nests Blunt egg part analysis reveals rejection of parasitic eggs in birds with lower variation in blue chroma Additional spectrometric studies needed Currently, use of spectrometric technology in conjunction with human vision a promising approach for investigating – brood parasitism – egg matching

14 Acknowledgements Dr. JodyLee Estrada Duek Dr. Robert Bill Mannan

15 Questions?? Which eggs... are parasitic?


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