A hierarchical model of plumage: Morphology, development, and evolution
Article first published online: 26 AUG 2003
© 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Special Issue: Development and evolution of amniote integuments
Volume 298B, Issue 1, pages 73–90, 15 August 2003
How to Cite
Prum, R. O. and Dyck, J. (2003), A hierarchical model of plumage: Morphology, development, and evolution. J. Exp. Zool., 298B: 73–90. doi: 10.1002/jez.b.27
- Issue published online: 26 AUG 2003
- Article first published online: 26 AUG 2003
Plumage is a complex component of the avian phenotype. The plumage of an individual is composed of numerous hierarchically arranged developmental and morphological modules. We present a hierarchical model of plumage that provides an intellectual framework for understanding the development and evolution of feathers. Independence, covariation, and interaction among plumage modules create numerous opportunities for developmental and evolutionary diversification of feather complexity and function. The hierarchical relationships among plumage modules are characterized by both top-down and bottom-up effects in which properties of modules at one level of the hierarchy determine or influence the properties of modules at lower or higher levels of the hierarchy. Plumage metamodules are created by covariation or interaction among modules at different levels of the hierarchy. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 298B: 73–90, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.