The ecological effects of global climate changes include shifts of species' distribution and changes in migration strategies and phenotype. Colour polymorphism, which can be envisaged as a species' evolutionary response to alternating conditions or to a wide range of habitats, may be affected by climate changes as well. The scops owl (Otus scops) shows two main colour morphs, dark- and pale-reddish, as well as intermediate morphs. We investigated temporal trends in an index of plumage colour of Italian scops owls from museum collections (1870–2007). We found a significant increase in plumage redness over the last century, which was correlated with an increase in temperature and rainfall of the years before specimen collection. However, the temporal increase in plumage redness persisted after controlling for climatic variables, suggesting that other environmental factors could be involved. Our study indicates that ongoing climate changes might have either shifted the selective balance between colour morphs, or differentially affected migration and movement patterns of colour morphs.
|Titolo:||Global changes and animal phenotypic responses : melanin-based plumage redness of scops owls increased with temperature and rainfall during the last century|
RUBOLINI, DIEGO (Secondo)
|Parole Chiave:||Climate change; Colour polymorphism; Evolutionary response; Melanin-based coloration; Morphs|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1098/rsbl.2009.0207|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|