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Morphometric Differentiation in New Zealand Populations of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Allan J. Baker
Evolution
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Jul., 1980), pp. 638-653
DOI: 10.2307/2408018
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408018
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

Small numbers of house sparrows were introduced into New Zealand from England over 100 years ago. Morphometric variation in 16 skeletal characters of 791 adults was analyzed statistically, based on 13 samples from extant populations spanning their New Zealand range. Both sexes have undergone interlocality differentiation in size and shape. Size variation is ordered clinally and thus is significantly related linearly to isophane, latitude and longitude. Shape component III regresses on mean maximum summer temperatures in males and on isophane in females. Males have differentiated in more characters than females and also show a much greater tendency to differentiate among localities in those characters that vary most within localities. Because the sexes have responded differently to environmental variation, and as similar patterns of character covariation are shown by ancestral-descendent lineages of sparrows in New Zealand, Europe and North America separated for over 100 years and subject to different environmental regimes, an ecophenotypic explanation of morphometric variation is rejected. Adaptive differentiation in New Zealand sparrows is less well developed than in their North American counterparts, possibly because of a genetically restricted founding stock and comparative environmental homogeneity in New Zealand.

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