Confer Presents and Hosts Activities


Contributed by Nancy Pierce

John Confer presented a paper entitled "Shrublands Are Not Just a Little Bush" and hosted part of the activities at the meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society, Cornell University.

In addition, Confer is coauthor of a poster entitled "Geographic Variability in Mitochondrial Introgression Among Hybridizing Populations of Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers." This paper is a collaborative study among field research workers at Queens' University, Ontario, and molecular DNA analysts at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology.

The poster is available on the Internet as a PDF document: Poster

The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is of conservation concern because of its current rapid population decline throughout the northeastern U.S. The advancement of Blue-winged Warblers (V. pinus) into historically Golden-winged habitats and the hybridization of the two species in areas of sympatry may play a role in the decline of Golden-winged populations. In this study, we obtained mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from 104 individuals of known phenotype from two study sites that have different histories of contact. We surveyed the relationships between phenotype and mtDNA haplotype in individuals of each population and found that there is variation between sites in terms of the extent of introgression. This comparison suggests that sites with different histories of contact may experience differing levels and patterns of hybridization and subsequent introgression.

Contributed by Nancy Pierce