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IBIS - highlights from the latest issue 
Volume 154  |  Issue 3  |  July 2012

The July issue of Ibis contains 16 full papers and 3 Short Communications, covering a very wide range of topics


Our highlighted article (No evidence of assortive mating on the basis of putative ornamental traits in Long-tailed Finches; Erica P. van Rooij & Simon C. Griffith: Ibis 154: 444-451) is an unusual paper in that its interest lies in a lack of significant results. Plumage ornaments in birds are generally thought to carry signals related to individual quality, and in species in which both sexes are ornamented, it is assumed that brighter or showier males will pair with brighter or showier females. In their work on the Long-tailed Finch of Australia, in which both sexes are conspicuously ornamented, Erica van Rooij and Simon Griffith found in fact that there is no correlation whatever between the plumage ornaments of pairs of wild birds, or between their ornaments and their reproductive output. In their accompanying Commentary article, Keith Tarvin and Troy Murphy speculate on what other function bright plumage ornaments might serve.


Other papers in this issue include: 

  • A study showing that in ducks, species with dark eyes tend to have light eyelids, and vice versa, perhaps so that birds can more easily assess whether their neighbours are vigilant or sleeping | View abstract
  • A study showing that sperm morphometry in Zebra Finches is unaltered after many generations in captivity, good news for researchers using this as a model species | View abstract
  • An analysis of DNA from a 180-year-old museum skin, revealing the taxonomic position of the enigmatic Kinglet Calyptura | View abstract
  • A study of the mechanics of long-term decline in a Scottish population of Corn Buntings, showing that habitat selection and breeding system have both changed during the decline | View abstract
  • A study showing that increasing temperatures causes great spring grass growth, leading to early migrational departure of wintering swans | View abstract

Viewpoint articles: 

  • Climate change and birds in the forgotten tropics: the importance of tropical dry forests | View article
  • Managing non-native species: don't wait until their impacts are proven | View article


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