Data from: Hormonal, behavioral, and life-history traits exhibit correlated shifts in relation to population establishment in a novel environment
Atwell, Jonathan W. et al. (2014), Data from: Hormonal, behavioral, and life-history traits exhibit correlated shifts in relation to population establishment in a novel environment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b6h36
Climate change, habitat alteration, range expansions, and biological invasions are all predicted to require rapid shifts in multiple traits including behavior and life history, both for initial population establishment and subsequent adaptation. Hormonal mechanisms likely play a key role in facilitating or constraining plastic and genetic responses for suites of traits, but few studies have evaluated their role in shaping contemporary adaptation or diversification. We examined multiple phenotypic adjustments and associated hormonal changes following a recent (early 1980s) colonization event, in which a temperate-breeding songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), became established in the Mediterranean climate of San Diego, California. The milder climate has led to an extended breeding season and year-round residency, and we document shifts in multiple sexually selected behaviors and plumage traits. Testosterone titers in San Diego were elevated for longer but with a lower peak value compared to a nearby native-range population, and correlations between testosterone and related traits were similar within and among populations. A common garden study indicated that changes in testosterone likely represent plastic responses to the less seasonal environment of the city, providing the context against which subsequent genetic changes in morphology likely occurred. We argue that correlated shifts in multiple traits, organized by underlying physiology, may be a generally important element of many successful adjustments to changing environments.