Cohort effect on discriminant rate: the case of greater flamingo ( Phœnicopterus roseus) chicks sexed with morphological characters

Boucheker, Abdennour; Nedjah, Riad; Prodon, Roger; Gillingham, Mark; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Béchet, Arnaud; Samraoui, Boudjéma

We used a large dataset of greater flamingo chicks banded and measured at Camargue, France, to verify the applicability of discriminant function analysis to sex this species. Males and females sexed genetically differed significantly in all of the morphological characters measured (body mass, tarsus and wing length), with males being significantly larger than females. Although the discriminant rate varied substantially from one year to another, we found that it increased with the sample size of genetically sexed individuals. Our results suggest that discriminant function analysis (DFA) does not provide an efficient tool to sex greater flamingo chicks as these relationship are highly variable across years, requiring the genetic determination of sex on a large number of individuals every year for calibrating the DFA and still providing an overall low accuracy in sex determination. Indeed, conditions at breeding seasons can vary between years and can be considered proximate causes affecting the correct discriminant rate. Like previous studies, we recommend caution in dealing with discriminant equations computed from small datasets, and our simulation suggests that 325 genetically sexed individuals are needed to obtain 80 % correctly classified greater flamingo chicks.

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Boucheker, Abdennour / Nedjah, Riad / Prodon, Roger / et al: Cohort effect on discriminant rate: the case of greater flamingo (Phœnicopterus roseus) chicks sexed with morphological characters. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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