Data from: White plumage color as an honest indicator: feather macrostructure links reflectance with reproductive effort and success
Cite this dataset
Laczi, Miklós et al. (2022). Data from: White plumage color as an honest indicator: feather macrostructure links reflectance with reproductive effort and success [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kprr4xh6b
The structural condition of feathers may generally have a decisive role in shaping the color properties of the plumage. However, the information content of structurally mediated color differences is poorly known. This makes it particularly hard to determine the meaning of color variation in pigment-free white plumage patches. The white wing patch of the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) is an important sexual trait, and changes in its reflectance are partly due to macrostructural condition. We used two years of macrostructural, reflectance and breeding data from both sexes to examine whether wing patch macrostructure lends information content to actual reflectance in terms of reproductive effort and success. Macrostructure strongly predicted actual reflectance in males but only weakly in females. Furthermore, in males, feather vane width was related positively to current year reproductive effort, and negatively to previous year reproductive effort. This indicates that macrostructurally mediated reflectance attributes may inform the receiver not only of actual reproductive capacity but also of individual quality via reproductive costs.