MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Elevational Variation of Body Size in Crested Ducks (Lophonetta specularioides) from the Central High Andes, Mendoza and Patagonia
BULGARELLA, MARIANA; WILSON, ROBERT E.; KOPUCHIAN, CECILIA; VALQUI, THOMAS H.; MCCRACKEN, KEVIN G.
Año: 2007 vol. 18 p. 587 - 587
The Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) inhabits the Andes of South America from Tierra del Fuego to central Perú, with two subspecies (L. s. specularioides and L. s. alticola) inhabiting different elevational environments in the Andes from sea level to 5,000 m. We evaluated morphological differences between the two subspecies of Crested Duck and evidence for Bergmanns and Allens Rules to gain a better understanding of the forces that have acted to shape geographic variation in morphology of highland and lowland populations. Overall body size of Crested Ducks differed between subspecies and between sexes. Male and female L. s. alticola from the central high Andes sampled at 3,3384,611 m were larger than L. s. specularioides from southern Patagonia (<934 m to sea level). L. s. alticola individuals of intermediate body size were found at mid elevations (1,5222,552 m) in Mendoza, Argentina. Stepwise discriminant analysis (DA) classified 96.1% of L. s. alticola and 100% of L. s. specularioides males correctly; 100% of females were classified correctly. Body mass, wing chord, tarsus length, and bill length were positively correlated with elevation in male L. s. alticola, whereas total tarsus was negatively correlated with elevation in male L. s. specularioides. Crested Ducks conform to Bergmanns Rule. No evidence was found for Allens Rule. Intermediate size Crested Ducks, such as those found in Mendoza, Argentina, might be interpreted as evidence for hybridization between L. s. alticola and L. s. specularioides, and/or natural selection on body size of individuals locally adapted to intermediate elevational habitats.