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A feather hydrogen isoscape for Mexico

Hobson, Keith A.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven L.; Larson, Keith LU and Wassenaar, Leonard I. (2009) In Journal of Geochemical Exploration 102(3). p.167-174
Abstract
Developing useful biological isoscapes for areas of the world is a priority. This is the case for Mexico that hosts a large percentage of North America's Neotropical migrant birds. Here we investigated the use of House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) feathers to create a spatially explicit feather deuterium isoscape for that country using samples (n=461) that were collected across Mexico. Considerable and useful spatial hydrogen isotopic structure was observed, suggesting that isotopes may be a potential forensic tool for evaluating origins of Mexican derived fauna and flora. The most positive feather delta D values occurred in the northeast and most negative in the south-central part of the country, roughly matching delta D patterns observed... (More)
Developing useful biological isoscapes for areas of the world is a priority. This is the case for Mexico that hosts a large percentage of North America's Neotropical migrant birds. Here we investigated the use of House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) feathers to create a spatially explicit feather deuterium isoscape for that country using samples (n=461) that were collected across Mexico. Considerable and useful spatial hydrogen isotopic structure was observed, suggesting that isotopes may be a potential forensic tool for evaluating origins of Mexican derived fauna and flora. The most positive feather delta D values occurred in the northeast and most negative in the south-central part of the country, roughly matching delta D patterns observed in groundwater. A weak negative isotopic relationship was found with altitude in both the Pacific and Atlantic drainage systems. The most parsimonious model describing isotopic spatial variation in feathers between 300 and 3000 m a.s.l. included groundwater delta D (delta D-gw; precipitation proxy), sex, amount of precipitation, and the coefficient of variation in amount of precipitation. Overall, delta D-gw was a poor predictor of sparrow delta D-f values for all of Mexico. However, this relationship was considerably strengthened when we considered sex separately, removed the Baja peninsula from our sample, and considered the Atlantic and Pacific drainage basins separately. The strongest relationship between delta D-gw and delta D-f was found for female sparrows in the Atlantic drainage basin (r(2)=0.464). We recommend that researchers interested in inferring origins of migratory birds and other animals in Mexico create species specific isotopic basemaps that may be guided by the isotopic patterns we have observed for House Sparrows and groundwater. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Mexico, Isoscape, House Sparrow, Groundwater, Deuterium, Feather
in
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
volume
102
issue
3
pages
167 - 174
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000270251300009
  • scopus:67651207485
ISSN
0375-6742
DOI
10.1016/j.gexplo.2009.02.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cf4c29b4-a28c-414c-b46d-bf1554a4bdc1 (old id 1489587)
date added to LUP
2009-10-22 10:27:35
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:20:40
@article{cf4c29b4-a28c-414c-b46d-bf1554a4bdc1,
  abstract     = {Developing useful biological isoscapes for areas of the world is a priority. This is the case for Mexico that hosts a large percentage of North America's Neotropical migrant birds. Here we investigated the use of House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) feathers to create a spatially explicit feather deuterium isoscape for that country using samples (n=461) that were collected across Mexico. Considerable and useful spatial hydrogen isotopic structure was observed, suggesting that isotopes may be a potential forensic tool for evaluating origins of Mexican derived fauna and flora. The most positive feather delta D values occurred in the northeast and most negative in the south-central part of the country, roughly matching delta D patterns observed in groundwater. A weak negative isotopic relationship was found with altitude in both the Pacific and Atlantic drainage systems. The most parsimonious model describing isotopic spatial variation in feathers between 300 and 3000 m a.s.l. included groundwater delta D (delta D-gw; precipitation proxy), sex, amount of precipitation, and the coefficient of variation in amount of precipitation. Overall, delta D-gw was a poor predictor of sparrow delta D-f values for all of Mexico. However, this relationship was considerably strengthened when we considered sex separately, removed the Baja peninsula from our sample, and considered the Atlantic and Pacific drainage basins separately. The strongest relationship between delta D-gw and delta D-f was found for female sparrows in the Atlantic drainage basin (r(2)=0.464). We recommend that researchers interested in inferring origins of migratory birds and other animals in Mexico create species specific isotopic basemaps that may be guided by the isotopic patterns we have observed for House Sparrows and groundwater. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.},
  author       = {Hobson, Keith A. and Van Wilgenburg, Steven L. and Larson, Keith and Wassenaar, Leonard I.},
  issn         = {0375-6742},
  keyword      = {Mexico,Isoscape,House Sparrow,Groundwater,Deuterium,Feather},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {167--174},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Geochemical Exploration},
  title        = {A feather hydrogen isoscape for Mexico},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gexplo.2009.02.007},
  volume       = {102},
  year         = {2009},
}