Continent-wide shifts in song dialects of white-throated sparrows. Otter, K. A., Mckenna, A., LaZerte, S. E., & Ramsay, S. M. Current Biology, July, 2020.
Continent-wide shifts in song dialects of white-throated sparrows [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Hypotheses on regional song variation (“dialects”) assume that dialects remain stable within regions, are distinct between regions, and persist within populations over extensive periods [1, 2, 3]. Theories to explain dialects focus on mechanisms that promote persistence of regional song variants despite gene flow between regions [4, 5, 6], such as juveniles settling in non-natal populations retaining only those songs from their repertoires that match neighbors [7, 8]. It would be considered atypical for a novel song variant to invade and replace the established regional variant. Yet some studies have reported song variants shifting rapidly over time within populations [9, 10, 11]. White-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicolis, for example, traditionally sing a whistled song terminating in a repeated triplet of notes [12], which was the ubiquitous variant in surveys across Canada in the 1960s [13]. However, doublet-ending songs emerged and replaced triplet-ending songs west of the Rocky Mountains sometime between 1960 and 2000 [11] and appeared just east of the Rockies in the 2000s [14]. From recordings collected over two decades across North America, we show that doublet-ending song has now spread at a continental scale. Using geolocator tracking, we confirm that birds from western Canada, where doublet-ending songs originated, overwinter with birds from central Canada, where the song initially spread. This suggests a potential mechanism for spread through song tutoring on wintering grounds. Where the new song variant has spread, it rose from a rare variant to the sole, regional song type, as predicted by the indirect biased transmission hypothesis [10]. Video Abstract
@article{otter_continent-wide_2020,
	title = {Continent-wide shifts in song dialects of white-throated sparrows},
	issn = {0960-9822},
	url = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982220307715},
	doi = {10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.084},
	abstract = {Hypotheses on regional song variation (“dialects”) assume that dialects remain stable within regions, are distinct between regions, and persist within populations over extensive periods [1, 2, 3]. Theories to explain dialects focus on mechanisms that promote persistence of regional song variants despite gene flow between regions [4, 5, 6], such as juveniles settling in non-natal populations retaining only those songs from their repertoires that match neighbors [7, 8]. It would be considered atypical for a novel song variant to invade and replace the established regional variant. Yet some studies have reported song variants shifting rapidly over time within populations [9, 10, 11]. White-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicolis, for example, traditionally sing a whistled song terminating in a repeated triplet of notes [12], which was the ubiquitous variant in surveys across Canada in the 1960s [13]. However, doublet-ending songs emerged and replaced triplet-ending songs west of the Rocky Mountains sometime between 1960 and 2000 [11] and appeared just east of the Rockies in the 2000s [14]. From recordings collected over two decades across North America, we show that doublet-ending song has now spread at a continental scale. Using geolocator tracking, we confirm that birds from western Canada, where doublet-ending songs originated, overwinter with birds from central Canada, where the song initially spread. This suggests a potential mechanism for spread through song tutoring on wintering grounds. Where the new song variant has spread, it rose from a rare variant to the sole, regional song type, as predicted by the indirect biased transmission hypothesis [10].
Video Abstract},
	language = {en},
	urldate = {2020-07-07},
	journal = {Current Biology},
	author = {Otter, Ken A. and Mckenna, Alexandra and LaZerte, Stefanie E. and Ramsay, Scott M.},
	month = jul,
	year = {2020},
	keywords = {Zonotrichia albicolis, bird song, cultural evolution, dialects, white-throated sparrows},
}
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