Bat Species Comparisons Based on External Morphology: A Test of Traditional versus Geometric Morphometric Approaches

Schmieder, Daniela Anna; 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. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0127043

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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.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schmieder, Daniela Anna

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

27 Sep 2016 09:32

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2016 09:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0127043

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.88903

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/88903

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