Tag: Apus melba

Additive effects of ectoparasites over reproductive attempts in the long-lived alpine swift

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 7 abstract Parasitism is a non-negligible cost of reproduction in wild organisms, and hosts are selected to partition resources optimally between current and future reproduction. While parents can compensate for the cost of parasitism by increasing their current reproductive investment, such change in resource allocation is expected to carry-over […]


Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 9 abstract Two mutually exclusive hypotheses have been put forward to explain the evolution and adaptive function of melanin-based color traits. According to sexual selection theory melanism is a directionally selected signal of individual quality, whereas theory on the maintenance of genetic polymorphism proposes that alternative melaninbased variants achieve […]

Apparent lack of effects of a high louse-fly infestation (Diptera, Hippoboscidae) on adult colonial Alpine Swifts

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 5 abstract A population of Alpine Swifts Apus melba showed the highest louse-fly parasitization rate (74%) as far as known in birds. This might be caused by a limited ability to preen. The prevalence was lower in second-year birds than in adults, probably as a result of their breeding […]

Parasitism, developmental plasticity and bilateral asymmetry of wingfeathers in alpine swift, Apus melba, nestlings

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 8 abstract The hypothesis that developmental instability is a cost of developmental plasticity isexplored using the alpine swift (Apus melba) as a model organism. In a previous study,experimentally parasitized nestlings showed a reduced wing growth rate in the first halfof the rearing period when parasites were abundant (i.e. peak […]

Covariation between egg size and rearing condition determines offspring quality: an experiment with the alpine swift

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 1 abstract A positive correlation between egg size, early growth and nestling survival has been frequently reported in the ornithological literature. Albeit of interest, most of these studies did not determine whether the relationship between egg size, early growth and nestling survival was confounded by the quality of rearing […]

Female-biased mortality in experimentally parasitized Alpine Swift Apus melba nestlings

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 2 abstract 1) Sex-biased mortality in adult vertebrates is often attributed to lower immunocompetence and higher parasite susceptibility of males. Although sex-specific mortality has also been reported during growth, the importance of sex-specific immunocompetence and parasite susceptibility in explaining male-biased mortality remains ambiguous in growing individuals because of potentially […]

Adoption as an offspring strategy to reduce ectoparasite exposure

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 4 abstract Adoption occurs frequently in colonial species where both the cost of parasitism and the opportunity for dependent young to find a foster family are typically high. Because ectoparasites show highly aggregated distributions among colony members, we tested two central predictions of the novel hypothesis that adoption is […]

Parasitism and developmental plasticity in Alpine swift nestlings

Alpine Swift (Apus melba) Science Article 3 abstract 1) Development plasticity is a common evolutionary and phenotypic response to poor growth condition, in particular in organisms with determinate growth such as most birds and mammals. Because various body structures can contribute differently to overall fitness, natural selection will adjust the degree of plasticity of each […]