Coordenacao de Zoologia

Belém, Brazil

Coordenacao de Zoologia

Belém, Brazil

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Ribas C.C.,National Institute of Amazonian Research | Ribas C.C.,American Museum of Natural History | Aleixo A.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Nogueira A.C.R.,Federal University of Pará | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain high species diversity in Amazonia, but few generalizations have emerged. In part, this has arisen from the scarcity of rigorous tests for mechanisms promoting speciation, and from major uncertainties about palaeogeographic events and their spatial and temporal associations with diversification. Here, we investigate the environmental history of Amazonia using a phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of trumpeters (Aves: Psophia), which are represented by species in each of the vertebrate areas of endemism. Their relationships reveal an unforeseen 'complete' time-slice of Amazonian diversification over the past 3.0 Myr. We employ this temporally calibrated phylogeny to test competing palaeogeographic hypotheses. Our results are consistent with the establishment of the current Amazonian drainage system at approximately 3.0-2.0 Ma and predict the temporal pattern of major river formation over Plio-Pleistocene times. We propose a palaeobiogeographic model for the last 3.0 Myr of Amazonian history that has implications for understanding patterns of endemism, the temporal history of Amazonian diversification and mechanisms promoting speciation. The history of Psophia, in combination with new geological evidence, provides the strongest direct evidence supporting a role for river dynamics in Amazonian diversification, and the absence of such a role for glacial climate cycles and refugia. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Fernandes A.M.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Fernandes A.M.,University of Heidelberg | Wink M.,University of Heidelberg | Sardelli C.H.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Aleixo A.,Coordenacao de Zoologia
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: To investigate the role of historical processes in the evolution of the spot-backed antbird species complex Hylophylax naevius/Hylophylax naevioides (Aves, Thamnophilidae). Location: Throughout the Amazon Basin and across the Andes in Central and northern South America. Methods: We investigated the evolutionary history of the H. naevius/H. naevioides complex based on a total of 100 individuals from opposite banks of the major Amazonian rivers and both sides of the Andes. Nucleotide sequences from two mitochondrial DNA genes [1015 bp of cytochrome b (cyt b) and 1023 bp of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2)] and one nuclear marker [539 bp of intron 5 of the β-fibrinogen (BF5)] were obtained. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred using Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods. We used Bayesian coalescent-based approaches to evaluate demographic changes through time, and to estimate the timing of the diversification events. Results: Well-supported allopatric and parapatric lineages were recovered within the H. naevius/H. naevioides complex, with high levels of genetic differentiation, both on opposite sides of rivers (0.6-7.1%) and across the Andes (6.9%). Molecular dating and population demography suggest cladogenesis in various periods, associated with distinct vicariance and dispersal events. Main conclusions: Our data support the hypothesis that the uplift of the northern Andes and the consolidation of the modern Amazon drainage system were key to promoting the diversification of forest-dwelling bird lineages in the northern Neotropics. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Barlow J.,Lancaster University | Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Parry L.,Lancaster University | Peres C.A.,University of East Anglia
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Archeologists, paleoecologists and anthropologists argue that ecologists need to give greater consideration to the pre-historical influence of humans in shaping the current structure and composition of tropical forests. We examine these arguments within the context of Amazonia, and assess the extent to which (i) the concepts of " pristine forests" and " cultural parklands" are mutually exclusive, (ii) the aggregated distribution of some plants necessarily indicates enrichment planting, (iii) pre-Columbian human disturbance has increased forest biodiversity, (iv) pre-Columbian indigenous practices were always sustainable, and (v) if indeed, the ecological impacts of pre-Columbian peoples are relevant for modern biodiversity conservation. Overall, we reject the notion that " the pristine myth has been thoroughly debunked" by archeological evidence, and suggest that the environmental impacts of historical peoples occurred along gradients, with high-impacts in settlements and patches of Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE), lesser impacts where occasional enrichment planting took place in forests surrounding agricultural plots, and a very low influence (in terms of light hunting pressure and other types of resource extraction) across vast areas of Amazonia that may always have been far from permanent settlements and navigable rivers. We suggest that the spatial distribution of pre-Columbian finds is given more attention, and urge caution before case studies are extrapolated to the entire Basin. Above all, we feel that debates over " naturalness" and environmental impacts of pre-Columbian humans are of limited relevance to present and future biodiversity conservation, and can detract from the major challenges facing Amazonia and other tropical forest regions today. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Patel S.,Northwestern University | Weckstein J.D.,Field Museum of Natural History | Patane J.S.L.,Instituto Butantan | Bates J.M.,Field Museum of Natural History | Aleixo A.,Coordenacao de Zoologia
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2011

We use the small-bodied toucan genus Pteroglossus to test hypotheses about diversification in the lowland Neotropics. We sequenced three mitochondrial genes and one nuclear intron from all Pteroglossus species and used these data to reconstruct phylogenetic trees based on maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses. These phylogenetic trees were used to make inferences regarding both the pattern and timing of diversification for the group. We used the uplift of the Talamanca highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama as a geologic calibration for estimating divergence times on the Pteroglossus tree and compared these results with a standard molecular clock calibration. Then, we used likelihood methods to model the rate of diversification. Based on our analyses, the onset of the Pteroglossus radiation predates the Pleistocene, which has been predicted to have played a pivotal role in diversification in the Amazon rainforest biota. We found a constant rate of diversification in Pteroglossus evolutionary history, and thus no support that events during the Pleistocene caused an increase in diversification. We compare our data to other avian phylogenies to better understand major biogeographic events in the Neotropics. These comparisons support recurring forest connections between the Amazonian and Atlantic forests, and the splitting of cis/trans Andean species after the final uplift of the Andes. At the subspecies level, there is evidence for reciprocal monophyly and groups are often separated by major rivers, demonstrating the important role of rivers in causing or maintaining divergence. Because some of the results presented here conflict with current taxonomy of Pteroglossus, new taxonomic arrangements are suggested. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Lees A.C.,University of Cambridge | Newton I.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Balmford A.,University of Cambridge
Conservation Letters | Year: 2013

The partial recovery of large birds of prey in lowland Britain has reignited conflicts with game managers and prompted a controversial U.K. government proposal to investigate ways of limiting losses to pheasant shooting operations. Yet best estimates are that buzzards are only a minor source of pheasant mortality-road traffic, for example, is far more important. Moreover, because there are often large numbers of nonbreeding buzzards, local control of breeding pairs may simply lead to their replacement by immigrant buzzards. Most significantly, consideration of the complexity of trophic interactions suggests that even if successful, lowering buzzard numbers may directly or indirectly increase the abundance of other medium-sized predators (such as foxes and corvids) which potentially have much greater impacts on pheasant numbers. To be effective, interventions need to be underpinned by far more rigorous understanding of the dynamics of ecosystems dominated by artificially reared, superabundant nonnative game species. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Rylands A.B.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Mittermeier R.A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Silva J.S.,Coordenacao de Zoologia
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

The current taxonomy of the New World primates (Platyrrhini) indicates c. 152 species (i.e. 204 species and subspecies) in 20 genera and four or five families. For various reasons, the number of taxa has increased considerably in the last 30 years; the adoption of the phylogenetic species concept, cytogenetic and molecular genetic studies, and the discovery of 31 new species and subspecies, among them. Here, we provide a summary of some of the key changes and developments in the taxonomy of these monkeys since the International Zoo Yearbook's previous special section on New World primates in 1982 (Volume 22). © 2012 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.


The growing knowledge on paleogeography and the recent applications of molecular biology and phylogeography to the study of the Amazonian biota have provided a framework for testing competing hypotheses of biotic diversification in this region. Here, we reconstruct the spatio-temporal context of diversification of a widespread understory polytypic Amazonian bird species (Thamnophilus aethiops) and contrast it with different hypotheses of diversification and the taxonomy currently practiced in the group. Sequences of mtDNA (cytochrome b and ND2) and nuclear (β-fibrinogen introns 5 and 7 and the Z-liked Musk4) genes, adding up to 4093. bp of 89 individuals covering the Amazonian, Andean, and Atlantic Forest populations of T. aethiops were analyzed. Phylogenetic and population genetics analyses revealed ten reciprocally monophyletic and genetically isolated or nearly-isolated lineages in T. aethiops, highlighting several inconsistencies between taxonomy and evolutionary history in this group. Our data suggest that the diversification of T. aethiops started in the Andean highlands, and then proceeded into the Amazonian lowlands probably after the consolidation of the modern Amazonian drainage. The main cladogenetic events in T. aethiops may be related to the formation and structuring of large Amazonian rivers during the Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene, coinciding with the dates proposed for other lineages of Amazonian organisms. Population genetics data do not support climatic fluctuations as a major source of diversification in T. aethiops. Even though not entirely concordant with paleobiogeographic models derived from phylogenies of other vertebrate lineages, our results support a prominent role for rivers as major drivers of diversification in Amazonia, while underscoring that different diversification scenarios are probably related to the distinct evolutionary origins of groups being compared. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Paramasaris fernandae Silveira, sp. nov. is described from the Brazilian state of Pará, and its affinities with other species in the genus are discussed. Record of this new species greatly expands geographical range of occurrences for Paramasaris Cameron as a whole, and in a kind of forest habitat unusual for the group. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Gilroy J.J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Theories of island biogeography typically predict a close link between patterns of immigration and the dynamics of colonization and extinction on islands, but relatively little is known of the immigration process owing to the difficulty of observing immigration directly. We assess the relationship between propagule immigration and colonization success using records of out-of-range 'vagrant' animals compiled by amateur and professional biologists. Location: A global sample of 66 oceanic islands and archipelagos. Methods: We compiled a database of landbird records from each archipelago including occasional visitors (vagrants) and colonizers (defined as non-endemic species with breeding populations on islands). Using a database of species traits for all the world's passerine and near-passerine birds (migratory status and range size), we compared the characteristics of vagrants and colonizers and assessed how island characteristics influenced vagrant and colonizer communities. Results: We show that variation in the propensity for vagrancy to oceanic islands world-wide is a surprisingly poor predictor of colonization success across species on a global scale. Colonization success is positively related to global range size, and is higher for migrants than residents (particularly on higher-latitude islands). Species richness of vagrant communities increases with the area and local isolation of island groups, and decreases with isolation from continents and latitude. Colonizer species richness increases with island area and decreases with isolation and latitude, and is little influenced by vagrant species richness. Main conclusions: Contrary to expectations, we find that the capacity for trans-oceanic dispersal may not be a key determinant of oceanic island colonization amongst landbirds. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Martin R.W.,BirdLife International
Ibis | Year: 2015

Gaps in our knowledge of the geographical distribution of species represent a fundamental challenge to biogeographers and conservation biologists alike, and are particularly pervasive in the tropics. Here we highlight the case of the Rufous-thighed Kite Harpagus diodon, a South American raptor commonly mapped as resident across half the continent. Recent observations at migration watch points have indicated it may be partially migratory in the southernmost parts of its range. To investigate this possibility, we collated contemporary and historical specimen records, published sight records and 'digital vouchers' - photographs and sound-recordings archived online (from citizen science initiatives) - and explored the spatiotemporal distribution of records. We were unable to trace any documented records of this species from Amazonia during the austral summer (October-March), or records from the Atlantic Forest biome during the peak of the Austral winter (June-August), and all proven breeding records stem from the Atlantic Forest region. We compared this pattern with that of a 'control' species, the congeneric Double-toothed Kite H. bidentatus, again using specimens and digital vouchers. For this species we found no evidence of seasonality between biomes and can disregard spatiotemporal variation in observer effort as a cause of seasonal biases. We consider that all populations of Rufous-thighed Kites are fully migratory, wintering in Equatorial forests in the Amazonian basin. We provide evidence that this pattern was previously obscured by erroneous undocumented records and poor or erroneous specimen metadata, and its discovery was primarily facilitated by digital vouchers. This discovery requires a reassessment of the species' global conservation status as an Atlantic Forest breeding endemic, threatened by habitat loss and degradation, as it was previously considered to be resident across large swathes of undisturbed Amazonian Forest on the Guiana Shield. The bulk of the digital voucher data used to elucidate this pattern were extracted from a Brazilian citizen science initiative WikiAves, which may serve as a model for collating biodiversity data in megadiverse countries and help catalyse environmental awareness. © 2014 British Ornithologists' Union.

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