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Partial albinism in a semi-isolated population of great reed warblers

  • Staffan Bensch
  • Bengt Hansson
  • Dennis Hasselquist
  • B Nielsen
Publishing year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 167-170
Publication/Series: Hereditas
Volume: 133
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Albinism in birds is thought to result from the expression of recessive alleles that disrupt melanin pigmentation at feather development. We have studied great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus in a recently founded and increasing population in Sweden during 15 years for the presence of birds with albinistic feathers. The study population was founded in 1978 and the few cases of albinism was exclusively recorded during the first five pears of our study (1985-1989). This fits to the expected pattern if albinism is governed by recessive alleles; we have previously demonstrated that the population suffered from inbreeding during the first years of our study. The albinistic birds experienced a similar lifetime reproductive success as normally coloured birds.


  • Genetics


  • Wild great reed warblers
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1601-5223
Dennis Hasselquist
E-mail: dennis [dot] hasselquist [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 37 08