PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
 
Proc Biol Sci. Jul 22, 2000; 267(1451): 1433–1438.
PMCID: PMC1690695
Genetics, local environment and health as factors influencing plasma carotenoids in wild American kestrels (Falco sparverius).
G R Bortolotti, J L Tella, M G Forero, R D Dawson, and J J Negro
Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
G R Bortolotti: bortolotti/at/sask.usask.ca
Abstract
Carotenoids are important as pigments for bright coloration of animals, and as physiologically active compounds with a wide array of health-related functions. Carotenoid-dependent coloration may have evolved as a signal to conspecifics; however, factors that may limit availability of carotenoids are poorly known. We investigated how the acquisition of carotenoids may be constrained by availability in the environment, diet, genetic make-up and health status of wild American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Plasma concentrations of siblings at the time of fledging showed a high degree of resemblance; however, a cross-fostering experiment revealed that variance was largely explained by nest of rearing, rather than nest of origin, thus indicating a low genetic component. A multivariate analysis of attributes of nestlings (sex, size, plasma proteins, immune function), parental reproduction (laying date, clutch size) and rearing conditions (brood size, size hierarchy, nestling mortality) showed only a small significant effect of leucocyte differentials on carotenoid concentrations of nestlings. A strong environmental effect on plasma carotenoids was demonstrated by levels of adult kestrels being correlated within mated pairs, and having a significant association with the abundance of voles, the primary prey species, per territory.
Full Text
The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (224K).
Selected References
These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Grether GF, Hudon J, Millie DF. Carotenoid limitation of sexual coloration along an environmental gradient in guppies. Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Jul 7;266(1426):1317–1317. [PMC free article]
Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of
The Royal Society