Bat species comparisons based on external morphology: A test of traditional versus geometric morphometric approaches

Schmieder, Daniela A., Benítez, Hugo A., Borissov, Ivailo M., & Fruciano, Carmelo (2015) Bat species comparisons based on external morphology: A test of traditional versus geometric morphometric approaches. PLoS ONE, 10(5), e0127043.

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Abstract

External morphology is commonly used to identify bats as well as to investigate flight and foraging behavior, typically relying on simple length and area measures or ratios. However, geometric morphometrics is increasingly used in the biological sciences to analyse variation in shape and discriminate among species and populations. Here we compare the ability of traditional versus geometric morphometric methods in discriminating between closely related bat species – in this case European horseshoe bats (Rhinolophidae, Chiroptera) – based on morphology of the wing, body and tail. In addition to comparing morphometric methods, we used geometric morphometrics to detect interspecies differences as shape changes. Geometric morphometrics yielded improved species discrimination relative to traditional methods. The predicted shape for the variation along the between group principal components revealed that the largest differences between species lay in the extent to which the wing reaches in the direction of the head. This strong trend in interspecific shape variation is associated with size, which we interpret as an evolutionary allometry pattern.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 87593
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: geometric morphometrics, bats, traditional morphometrics, wing shape
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127043
ISSN: 1932-6203
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > ECOLOGY (060200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300) > Animal Systematics and Taxonomy (060301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300) > Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis (060309)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300) > Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified (060399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > ZOOLOGY (060800) > Vertebrate Biology (060809)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Schmieder et al.
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2015 04:56
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 00:01

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