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Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 157, Issue 4, pp 1087–1101 | Cite as

Postglacial colonisation and diversification of the Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) in its north-eastern frontier as revealed by morphological analysis

  • Sumio Nakamura
  • Alexey Kryukov
Original Article

Abstract

The Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) is a widespread species in Asia that underwent remarkable postglacial recolonisations during the Pleistocene and Holocene. In order to better understand the pattern of its settling and diversification, we investigated the morphological differences among adult Jungle Crow samples obtained from locations in northern Japan and the Russian Far East: Hokkaido, Sakhalin Island, the continental seaboard adjacent to the Tatarsky Strait and the region to the west of the Sikhote-Alin Mountains. We studied four cranial measurements and five bill measurements, as well as body mass from 195 samples. We found clear differences among most populations for both males and females when the various characteristics were observed, especially on Hokkaido and Sakhalin Island; crows from Hokkaido had larger bills and lighter body mass. The differences between the Hokkaido and Sakhalin populations correspond to Bergman’s and Allen’s rules, but this was not the case with the longitudinal cline revealed among the three populations from the Russian Far East. In conclusion, our results suggest that La Pérouse Strait separates two assumed recolonisation movements, the first being along the mainland via Ussuriland to Sakhalin and the second along the Japanese Archipelago to Hokkaido. It is evident that this strait is a more effective barrier between Jungle Crow populations than either the Tatarsky Strait or the Sikhote-Alin mountain range.

Keywords

Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Diversification East Asia Skull morphology Recolonisation 

Zusammenfassung

Nacheiszeitliche Besiedlung und Diversifizierung bei der Dickschnabelkrähe ( Corvus macrorhynchos ) an ihrer nordöstlichen Verbreitungsgrenze: Ergebnisse morphologischer Analysen Die Dickschnabelkrähe (Corvus macrorhynchos) ist eine in Asien weitverbreitete Art, die während des Pleistozäns und Holozäns eine bemerkenswerte nacheiszeitliche Wiederbesiedlung erlebte. Um die Muster in ihrer Wiederbesiedlung und Diversifizierung besser zu verstehen, untersuchten wir die morphologischen Unterschiede zwischen adulten Dickschnabelkrähen, die in Japan und dem russischen Fernen Osten gesammelt worden waren: auf Hokkaido, der Insel Sachalin, dem asiatischen Festlands-Küstenstreifen an der Meerenge von Tatarsky, gegenüber der Insel Sachalin, und dem Gebiet westlich dem Sichote-Alin-Gebirge. Wir nahmen vier Schädel-, fünf Schnabel-Maße und Körpermassen an 195 Tieren vor und fanden bei den meisten Populationen, besonders auf Hokkaido und der Insel Sachalin, sowohl für Männchen als auch für die Weibchen bei den diversen Merkmalen klare Unterschiede; die Krähen auf Hokkaido hatten größere Schnäbel und eine geringere Körpermasse. Die Unterschiede zwischen den Populationen auf Hokkaido und der Insel Sachalin entsprechen den Regeln von Bergmann und von Allen, was aber nicht für die Längengrad-Kline der drei Populationen aus dem russischen Fernen Osten zutraf. Unsere Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass die La-Pérouse-Straße (die Meerenge zwischen Hokkaidos Nord- und Sachalins Südspitze) zwei von uns vermutete Wiederbesiedlungs-Bewegungen trennte: die eine das Festland entlang von der Ussuri-Gegend bis zur Insel Sachalin, die andere entlang des japanischen Archipels bis Hokkaido. Ganz offensichtlich ist für Dickschnabelkrähen-Populationen diese Meerenge eine wirksamere Barriere als die Meerenge von Tatarsky oder der Sichote-Alin-Gebirgszug.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank V. Nechaev and the staff of the Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, for their support in collecting samples from the Primorsky and Khabarovsky regions. We also express our thanks to K. Tamada, who generously lent the Hokkaido skull collection to us for examination. SN is grateful to T. Yamasaki, M. Kajita, H. Matsuoka and H. Suzuki for their advice and is thankful to I. Boyarkin and Y. Vishnyakov for collecting samples from Sakhalin Island. A considerable number of crows are exterminated as agricultural pests in Russia’s Far East; the permits for the collection of crow bodies were issued by the Department of Natural Resources of each provincial government.

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ornithological Society of JapanTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far East BranchRussian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia

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