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New Statistical Methods for Allometry with Application to Florida Red-Winged Blackbirds

James E. Mosimann and Frances C. James
Evolution
Vol. 33, No. 1, Part 2 (Mar., 1979), pp. 444-459
DOI: 10.2307/2407633
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407633
Page Count: 16
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New Statistical Methods for Allometry with Application to Florida Red-Winged Blackbirds
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Abstract

New methods for allometry are presented. The definition of random size and shape variables which are visually meaningful is stressed. In contrast to classical methods which attempt to summarize size-shape associations with single coefficients, the methods here permit the study of the entire joint distribution of size and shape variables. The diversity of allometric hypotheses is revealed, and the choice of size variable is shown to be important. Under a multivariate lognormal assumption, exact statistical tests are presented. The methods are illustrated by study of geographic variation in the red-winged blackbird in Florida. Bill depth and bill shape, but not bill length, show interesting covariation across Florida. The observed bill variation for the red-winged blackbird is suggestive of variation found across species of Darwin's finches, and is also consistent with size trends observed in a variety of bird species in eastern North America.

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