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Bowers of the great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) remained unburned after fire: Is this an adaptation to fire?

Mikami, O, Katsuno, Y, Yamashita, D, Noske, R and Eguchi, K (2010). Bowers of the great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) remained unburned after fire: Is this an adaptation to fire?. Journal of Ethology,28(1):15-20.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 80270966xPUB26
Title Bowers of the great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) remained unburned after fire: Is this an adaptation to fire?
Author Mikami, O
Katsuno, Y
Yamashita, D
Noske, R
Eguchi, K
Journal Name Journal of Ethology
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 28
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1439-5444   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-72449150262
Start Page 15
End Page 20
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Japan
Publisher Springer Japan KK
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Fire plays an important role in the evolution of life-history characteristics of organisms living in fire-prone regions. Although there are many reports of plants exhibiting adaptations to reduce the harmful or lethal effects of fire, little is known about fire-resistance mechanisms among animals, other than fleeing responses. Here, we report observations that may represent a type of fire adaptation in a bird species: bowers in one population of the Great Bowerbird Chlamydera nuchalis remained unburned after fire. If a bower is destroyed by fire or other mechanisms during courtship and breeding season, the male may lose the opportunity to mate with females, thereby reducing his apparent fitness. Therefore, traits that minimise the damage to bowers from fires may be beneficial. By measuring the unburned areas surrounding bowers after fires, we showed that the survival of bowers after fires is unlikely to be solely related to chance. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that bower resistance to fire is an adaptation of the Great Bowerbird. However, it is also possible that unburned bowers are by-products of sexual selection.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10164-009-0149-9   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 09 Apr 2010, 08:13:49 CST by Sarena Wegener