Scholes, E. ., Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, USA, edwin.scholes@cornell.edu

EVOLUTION OF THE COURTSHIP PHENOTYPE IN THE BIRD OF PARADISE GENUS PAROTIA: HOMOLOGY, PHYLOGENY, AND MODULARITY

Birds of Paradise exhibit extreme differences among taxa in courtship-related form (i.e. courtship phenotype). In the genus Parotia, the courtship phenotype is organizationally modular, which may play an important role in the evolution of phenotypic disparity among taxa. I investigate variational aspects of phenotypic modularity by examining the structure and composition of Parotia courtship form in a comparative context. First, I compile a module-based model of male display-phenotypes for four species to facilitate comparison. Models are constructed from phenotype ontologies and associated video-vouchers. Next, I perform a phylogenetic analysis of display-phenotype data using a matrix of 47 etho-phenotypic characters. Results show variation among taxa to be greater at higher-levels of phenotypic integration (i.e among display-modules) than at intermediate and lower-levels (i.e. among phase- and element-modules). Complexity has increased through time as display-modules became dissociated into sub-units that diverged independently. Parotia evolution involves numerous instances of duplication and divergence of etho-phenotypic modular components and likely reflects the same processes that have contributed to the pronounced phenotypic disparity within the entire bird of paradise radiation.

Oral presentation

Session #:G14
Date: Tuesday, 8/5/08
Time: 11:45 AM

Presentation is given by student: No