Differentiation of morphology and reproductive traits in the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus): a comparison between native and introduced populations
Kozlovic, Daniel R.
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House Finches (CarpQdacqs mexiCAnuS) were introduced to Long Island, New York from southern'California in 1940. Apparently, an initial sample of less than 100 birds has given rise to a population that now occupies much of the eastern United States. This study was to determine if morphological and reproductive changes have taken place in introduced eastern birds, which have colonized a novel environment. A study area in Goleta, California (CAL) represented the parental population whereas for comparison, House Finches in St. Catharines, Ontario (ONT) represented the introduced population. Interlocality variation in 25 morphometric characters of 100 adult House Finches was examined statistically. Singleclassification analysis of variance revealed significant interlocality differentiation in seven characters of males and nine of females. Females showed differentiation in more limb elements than males. Analysis of character variation using discriminant and principal component analysis distinguished samples on the basis of variation in shape. Compared to CAL, aNT birds (especially females) had smaller extremities relative to certain core parts and weight. Females showed similar patterns of character covariation in each locality on the second principal component, which suggests that differentiation of the ONT population may not be solely environmentally induced. Sexual dimorphism was evident in four charaoters in aNT and five in CAL. Disoriminant analysis distinguished sex on the basis of variation in shape. Males possessed a relatively larger flying apparatus and small.er hind limbs than females. The dearee of sexual dimorphism did not vary sicnifioantly between looalities. 3 Data on reproduotive parameters were oolleoted in 1983 and 1984 in ONT, and 1984 in CAL. In 1984, Bouse Finohes began breedina approximately three months earlier in CAL than in ONT. In ONT, there was no sianifioant differenoe in mean olutoh initiation date between 1983 and 1984. In both looalities most nests oontained either four or five ea",s, and olutoh size differenoes between looalites were not signifioant. Seasonal deolines in olutch size were evident in ONT but not in CAL. Intralooality variation in e.g weight and size was not related to clutch size. E",g weiaht showed no seasonal trend in ONT, but inoreased sianifioantly with breed ina season in OAL. In both looalities e8'''' weiaht increased sipifioantly with order of layina in olutohes of four but not in clutohes of five. Eag's in ONT in 1983 and 1984 were sip.ificantly larser than in CAL in 1984. The modal inoubation period was 13 days and did not vary sip.ifioantly between localites. In both looalities nestling weiaht on the day of hatohing was oorrelated to fresh ega welaht. For muoh of the period between hatohing and 14 days post-hatoh, ONT nestlinas were signifioantly laraer than CAL nestlings in terms of weiaht. bill length, bill depth, and manus length.