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Avian ecologists and physiologists have different sexual preferences

Caro, S.P. (2012) Avian ecologists and physiologists have different sexual preferences. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 176, 1-8. ISSN 0016-6480.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.12.021

Abstract

Seasonal timing is studied by ecologists and physiologists alike and it is now widely recognized that further integration of these fields is needed for a full understanding of phenology. This is especially true in the light of the impact of global climate change on living organisms. In studies of avian reproduction, one obstacle to this integration is that ecologists and physiologists do not allocate their research efforts equally to males and females. The physiological orchestration of breeding stages has been studied almost exclusively in males, while in avian ecology and evolutionary biology females are more often considered. This sex bias has severe implications: sexes differ in the way they use external cues to organize their life cycles, but often cue in on each other’s physiology and behavior. The simultaneous investigation of both males and females within single studies is thus essential. In this review, I begin by illustrating the sex-bias in studies and attempt to explain its origin. I then provide a number of examples in which focusing on a single sex would have resulted in misleading conclusions. Finally, I review some classical studies of female reproductive physiology that have promoted and developed research on the “forgotten-sex”.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:9983
Deposited On:22 Dec 2011 01:00
Last Modified:22 Aug 2013 11:54

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