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The influence of geological events on the endemism of East Asian birds studied through comparative phylogeography
Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Biogeography, ISSN 0305-0270, E-ISSN 1365-2699, Vol. 42, no 1, 179-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: East Asia is known for its exceptionally high biological diversity and endemism. Various geological and climatic events during the Pliocene and Pleistocene have been invoked to explain this high endemism, and these processes have had different impacts on different organisms. Herein, we investigate the relative role of these historical processes in the genetic evidence for endemism of intraspecific lineages of two East Asian species: the grey-cheeked fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) and the red-headed tree babbler (Stachyridopsis ruficeps).

Location: East Asia.

Methods: We studied the genetic structure based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and evaluated the phylogeographical lineages using coalescent species tree approaches. The influences of different historical processes on diversification among phylogeographical lineages were analysed using coalescent models. We tested correlations between ecological divergence and phylogeographical splits.

Results: The genetic structure analysis and species tree estimation revealed three deeply divergent lineages within both species. One lineage is endemic to the mountains of Southwest China and the other to Taiwan. Coalescent simulations suggested that lineage diversification mostly occurred during the late Pliocene. Within this time frame, uplift of the mountains of Southwest China and formation of the island of Taiwan are geological events consistent with the geographical isolation and ecological niche divergence of these phylogeographical lineages.

Main conclusions: Our results suggest that the main driver of avian endemism in East Asia was the formation of new montane and island habitats following the uplift of the mountains of Southwest China and formation of the island of Taiwan in the Pliocene. However, the populations in the two regions were affected differently by the climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene. The mountains of Southwest China were climatically stable during glaciations,allowing populations to persist throughout the Pleistocene and maintain their genetic uniqueness. In contrast, glaciations resulted in lowered sea levels, allowing dispersal between the island of Taiwan and mainland China, thus obscuring the genetic endemism of the Taiwanese populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 42, no 1, 179-192 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcippe morrisonia, allopatric divergence, birds, East Asia, ecological vicariance, genetic endemism, genetic diversification, South China, Stachyridopsis ruficeps, Taiwan
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-636DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12407OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-636DiVA: diva2:749053
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-2010-5321
Available from: 2014-09-23 Created: 2014-09-23 Last updated: 2015-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Ericson, Per G P

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