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Molecular phylogenetic relationship of snow finch complex (genera Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) from the Tibetan plateau.
Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Research Division.
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2006 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 40, no 1, 218-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The snow finch complex (Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) has its center of distribution on the Tibetan plateau, with six out of seven species in the genera occurring there. Phylogenetic relationships among these six species of three genera have been studied based on DNA sequence data obtained from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the nuclear myoglobin gene. The results support monophyly of the snow finch complex group and three major evolutionary lineages are recognized. The first clade consists of ruficollis, blanfordi, and davidiana. These three taxa are sometimes placed in their own genus, Pyrgilauda, and the DNA data supports this. The three taxa nivalis, henrici, and adamsi have traditionally been placed in the genus Montifringilla, and they group together strongly in the present analysis. The results further suggest that nivalis and adamsi are more closely related to each other than are nivalis and henrici, despite that the latter two are often regarded as conspecific. The third distinct lineage within the snow finch complex consists of taczanowskii, which has been placed its own genus, Onychostruthus. This taxon has a basal position in the phylogenetic tree and is sister to all other snow finches. We estimated that taczanowskii split from the other taxa between 2 and 2.5 mya, i.e., about the time for the most recent uplift of the Tibetan plateau, "the Tibet movement", 3.6-1.7 mya. Cladogenesis within the Montifringilla and Pyrgilauda clades seems to be contemporary with the second phase of "Tibet movement" at 2.5 mya and the third phase at 1.7 mya and "Kunhuang movement" in 1.5-0.6 mya. The dramatic climatic and ecological changes following from the uplift of the Tibetan plateau, together with the cyclic contraction and expansion of suitable habitats during the Pleistocene, are probably the most important factors for the cladogenesis in snow finch complex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 40, no 1, 218-26 p.
National Category
Biological Systematics Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Diversity of life
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URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-448DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.02.020PubMedID: 16624593OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-448DiVA: diva2:734922
Available from: 2014-07-22 Created: 2014-07-22 Last updated: 2014-07-22Bibliographically approved

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