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Carotenoid-based signals in behavioural ecology: a review
Monash University, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1426-0036
Monash University, Australia.
2011 (English)In: Behaviour, ISSN 0005-7959, E-ISSN 1568-539X, Vol. 148, no 2, 131-189 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Carotenoids are among the most prevalent pigments used in animal signals and are also important for a range of physiological functions. These concomitant roles havemade carotenoidbased signals a popular topic in behavioural ecology while also causing confusion and controversy. After a thorough background, we review the many pitfalls, caveats and seemingly contradictory conclusions that can result from not fully appreciating the complex nature of carotenoid function. Current controversies may be resolved through a more careful regard of this complexity, and of the immense taxonomic variability of carotenoid metabolism. Studies investigating the physiological trade-offs between ornamental and physiological uses of carotenoids have yielded inconsistent results. However, in many studies, homeostatic regulation of immune and antioxidant systems may have obscured the effects of carotenoid supplementation. We highlight how carefully designed experiments can overcome such complications. There is also a need to investigate factors other than physiological trade-offs (such as predation risk and social interactions) as these, too, may shape the expression of carotenoidbased signals.Moreover, the processes limiting signal expression individuals are likely different from those operating over evolutionary time-scales. Future research should give greater attention to carotenoid pigmentation outside the area of sexual selection, and to taxa other than fishes and birds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 148, no 2, 131-189 p.
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18778DOI: 10.1163/000579510X548673OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-18778DiVA: diva2:527852
Note

#1399 Carots

Available from: 2012-05-22 Created: 2012-05-22 Last updated: 2016-05-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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