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  • Using Feathers Collected at MAPS And MOSI Stations to Link Breeding and Wintering Locales of Migratory Birds

    Chris Merkord
    • A new paper in the journal Molecular Ecology describes how scientists at the Institute for Bird Populations joined a team of researchers to present a new analytical approach to studying migratory bird connectivity by integrating genetic and isotopic information into a single model.

    This article originally appeared in Contact Calls, the newsletter of the Institute for Bird Populations.


    Recent progress in studying migratory bird connectivity has been made using genetic and stable-isotope markers to assign migratory individuals to their breeding grounds. In a new paper in the journal Molecular Ecology, IBP scientists joined a team of researchers to present a new analytical approach integrating both types of information - genetic and isotopic - into a single model with more accuracy than either source of information alone can provide. As a sample application, we used samples collected at MAPS and MoSI stations to detect a subgroup of Wilson's Warblers wintering in Baja that uniquely migrate preferentially from the coastal Pacific Northwest (see Figure). Copyright restrictions prevent us from posting the paper online, but if you would like a pdf version, please email Rodney Siegel at rsiegel@birdpop.org.


    Rundel, C., M. Wunder, A. Alvarado, K. Ruegg, R. Harrigan, A. Schuh, J. Kelly, R. B. Siegel, D. F. DeSante, T. Smith, and J. Novembre. 2013. NOVEL STATISTICAL METHODS FOR INTEGRATING GENETIC AND STABLE ISOTOPIC DATA TO INFER INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL MIGRATORY CONNECTIVITY.Molecular Ecology 22:4163417. doi: 10.1111/mec.12393

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