Indicators of development as sexually selected traits: the developmental stress hypothesis in context
The developmental stress hypothesis proposes that the honesty of bird song as a signal may be maintained by costs incurred during development. That is, song complexity or other features of song may be honest indicators of male quality because they reflect an individual's developmental history. Over the last decade much evidence in support of this hypothesis has accrued. Experimentally imposing stressors on songbirds early in development results in impaired development of song and the brain regions controlling song. We review the evidence in support of the developmental stress hypothesis and indicate where information is still lacking. Further, we propose that the developmental stress hypothesis may be specific example of a general process whereby indicators of developmental stability become sexually selected traits. In this light, birdsong and fluctuating asymmetry may have evolved through similar evolutionary processes. Finally, we highlight that a wide range of physiological systems may be simultaneously affected by stress early in life, thus resulting in correlations between sexual ornamentation, such as song and other cognitive and physiological traits. Such traits may indicate different aspects of development. First, traits may signal how well an individual coped with stressors, and could predict indirect genetic benefits to a female. Second, traits may signal the quality of the developmental environment, and could predict direct benefits to a female via developmentally correlated traits. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/Email:
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:1-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.