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Tests of ecogeographical relationships in a non-native species: what rules avian morphology?

Cardilini, Adam P. A., Buchanan, Katherine L., Sherman, Craig D. H., Cassey, Phillip and Symonds, Matthew R. E. 2016, Tests of ecogeographical relationships in a non-native species: what rules avian morphology?, Oecologia, vol. 181, no. 3, pp. 783-793, doi: 10.1007/s00442-016-3590-9.

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Title Tests of ecogeographical relationships in a non-native species: what rules avian morphology?
Author(s) Cardilini, Adam P. A.
Buchanan, Katherine L.
Sherman, Craig D. H.ORCID iD for Sherman, Craig D. H. orcid.org/0000-0003-2099-0462
Cassey, Phillip
Symonds, Matthew R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew R. E. orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Journal name Oecologia
Volume number 181
Issue number 3
Start page 783
End page 793
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Gemany
Publication date 2016-07
ISSN 1432-1939
Keyword(s) european starling
invasive
exotic
alien
tarsus length
Summary The capacity of non-native species to undergo rapid adaptive change provides opportunities to research contemporary evolution through natural experiments. This capacity is particularly true when considering ecogeographical rules, to which non-native species have been shown to conform within relatively short periods of time. Ecogeographical rules explain predictable spatial patterns of morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour. We tested whether Australian populations of non-native starling, Sturnus vulgaris, introduced to the country approximately 150 years ago, exhibited predicted environmental clines in body size, appendage size and heart size (Bergmann's, Allen's and Hesse's rules, respectively). Adult starlings (n = 411) were collected from 28 localities from across eastern Australia from 2011 to 2012. Linear models were constructed to examine the relationships between morphology and local environment. Patterns of variation in body mass and bill surface area were consistent with Bergmann's and Allen's rules, respectively (small body size and larger bill size in warmer climates), with maximum summer temperature being a strongly weighted predictor of both variables. In the only intraspecific test of Hesse's rule in birds to date, we found no evidence to support the idea that relative heart size will be larger in individuals which live in colder climates. Our study does provide evidence that maximum temperature is a strong driver of morphological adaptation for starlings in Australia. The changes in morphology presented here demonstrate the potential for avian species to make rapid adaptive changes in relation to a changing climate to ameliorate the effects of heat stress.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00442-016-3590-9
Field of Research 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
0602 Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082127

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