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Life-History Divergence and Relative Fitness of Nestling Ficedula Flycatcher Hybrids
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The typical intermediate morphology of hybrids may result in their failure to utilize the same niches as their parents. However, the fitness consequences of the potentially intermediate life-history traits of hybrids have been given less scientific attention. In this study I aimed to investigate how life-history divergence in parental species affects the relative fitness of nestling hybrids resulting from crosses between collared (Ficedula albicollis) and pied flycatchers (F. hypoleuca). Previous studies showed that collared flycatcher nestlings beg more intensively and grow faster under good conditions, but are less robust against the seasonal decline in food availability compared to pied flycatcher nestlings. This life-history divergence between the species allows regional coexistence. To investigate whether the life-history divergence in flycatchers influences the relative fitness of nestling hybrids, I cross-fostered hybrid nestlings in aviaries into the nests of conspecific pairs and compared their performance. I found that the hybrids displayed intermediate growth rates between collared and pied flycatchers across the season. There might therefore be environmental conditions when hybrids perform better than purebred offspring with respect to growth and survival.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
flycatcher, hybridization, Speciation, life-history
National Category
Ecology Zoology Behavioral Sciences Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-165807OAI: diva2:474796
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2012-01-23Bibliographically approved

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