The molecular ecology of the extinct New Zealand Huia

Lambert, David M., Shepherd, Lara D., Huynen, Leon, Beans-Picon, Gabrielle, Walter, Gimme H. and Millar, Craig D. (2009) The molecular ecology of the extinct New Zealand Huia. PLoS One, 4 11: Article number e8019. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008019

Author Lambert, David M.
Shepherd, Lara D.
Huynen, Leon
Beans-Picon, Gabrielle
Walter, Gimme H.
Millar, Craig D.
Title The molecular ecology of the extinct New Zealand Huia
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2009-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0008019
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 11
Start page Article number e8019
Total pages 10
Editor C. Surridge
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Abstract The extinct Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) of New Zealand represents the most extreme example of beak dimorphism known in birds. We used a combination of nuclear genotyping methods, molecular sexing, and morphometric analyses of museum specimens collected in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to quantify the sexual dimorphism and population structure of this extraordinary species. We report that the classical description of Huia as having distinctive sex-linked morphologies is not universally correct. Four Huia, sexed as females had short beaks and, on this basis, were indistinguishable from males. Hence, we suggest it is likely that Huia males and females were indistinguishable as juveniles and that the well-known beak dimorphism is the result of differential beak growth rates in males and females. Furthermore, we tested the prediction that the social organisation and limited powers of flight of Huia resulted in high levels of population genetic structure. Using a suite of microsatellite DNA loci, we report high levels of genetic diversity in Huia, and we detected no significant population genetic structure. In addition, using mitochondrial hypervariable region sequences, and likely mutation rates and generation times, we estimated that the census population size of Huia was moderately high. We conclude that the social organization and limited powers of flight did not result in a highly structured population.
Keyword Multilocus genotype data
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 03 Jan 2010, 00:00:43 EST