Monday, June 4, 2012

Ornithological Monographs

1) Ornithological Monographs. The following were published by The American Ornithologists' Union:
 A) Brown, Charles R. and Valerie A. O'Brien. Are Wild Birds Important in the Transport of Arthropod-borne Viruses? O.M. #71. 2011. Paperback: 64 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: The encephalitic arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) can cause a variety of serious human and wildlife diseases, including eastern equine encephalomyelitis, western equine encephalomyelitis, St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Understanding how these pathogens are dispersed through the environment is important both in managing their health-related impact and in interpreting patterns of their genetic variability over wide areas. Because many arboviruses infect wild birds and can be amplified to a level that makes birds infectious to insect vectors, numerous workers have suggested that the movements of migratory birds represent a major way that these viruses can be transported on a local, continental, and intercontinental scale.
B) Smith, N. Adam and Julia A. Clarke. An Alphataxonomic Revision of Extinct and Extant Razorbills: Morphometric and Phylogenetic Approach, O.M. #72. 2011. Paperback: 61 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Alca (Aves, Alcidae) has a comparatively rich fossil record with respect to other Charadriiformes, consisting of thousands of specimens. Despite the abundance of fossil material, species richness in this clade has remained poorly understood, primarily because of the paucity of associated specimens. To address this issue, a combined morphometric and apomorphy-based method was developed that would allow referral of fragmentary and isolated specimens, which constitute ~97% of the Alca fossil record. Measurements of multiple variables from >2,000 Alca fossils were categorized by hierarchical cluster analysis and resulted in the recognition of species clusters. Discriminant function analysis was used to assess statistical support for these clusters and to identify the most informative measurements with respect to discriminating between species on the basis of size. The reliability of this method was tested using the same measurements taken from 13 extant alcid species and was found to be robust with respect to the accurate recovery of species-correlated groups of measurement data.
C) Vanderwerf, Eric A.. Ecogeographic Patterns of Morphological Variation in Elepaios (Chasiempis spp.): Bergmann's, Allen's, and Gloger's Rules in a Microcosm, O.M. #73. 2012. Paperback: 34 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Animals often exhibit predictable geographic variation in morphology, and such ecogeographic patterns reflect local adaptation to varying environmental conditions. The most common of these patterns are termed Bergmann's, Allen's, and Gloger's rules. I studied morphological variation in the Hawaii Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis) and the Oahu Elepaio (C. ibidis), forest birds endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. I measured body size and plumage color of 223 live elepaios captured at 36 sites on Hawaii and 132 live elepaios captured at 23 sites on Oahu, and I examined 132 museum specimens from an additional 22 locations on Hawaii. I used multiple regressions to examine relationships of elepaio body size and plumage color to elevation and annual rainfall on each island.

RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in the topics covered by these monographs.

O.M. #72 is available from BUTEO BOOKS here.

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