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Oliveira I.d.S.,University of Leipzig | Franke F.A.,University of Leipzig | Hering L.,University of Leipzig | Schaffer S.,University of Leipzig | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Low character variation among onychophoran species has been an obstacle for taxonomic and phylogenetic studies in the past, however we have identified a number of new and informative characters using morphological, molecular, and chromosomal techniques. Our analyses involved a detailed examination of Epiperipatus biolleyi from Costa Rica, Eoperipatus sp. from Thailand, and a new onychophoran species and genus from Costa Rica, Principapillatus hitoyensis gen. et sp. nov.. Scanning electron microscopy on embryos and specimens of varying age revealed novel morphological characters and character states, including the distribution of different receptor types along the antennae, the arrangement and form of papillae on the head, body and legs, the presence and shape of interpedal structures and fields of modified scales on the ventral body surface, the arrangement of lips around the mouth, the number, position and structure of crural tubercles and anal gland openings, and the presence and shape of embryonic foot projections. Karyotypic analyses revealed differences in the number and size of chromosomes among the species studied. The results of our phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial COI and 12S rRNA gene sequences are in line with morphological and karyotype data. However, our data show a large number of unexplored, albeit informative, characters in the Peripatidae. We suggest that analysing these characters in additional species would help unravel species diversity and phylogeny in the Onychophora, and that inconsistencies among most diagnostic features used for the peripatid genera in the literature could be addressed by identifying a suite of characters common to all peripatids. © 2012 Oliveira et al. Source

Dejtaradol A.,University of Ulm | Dejtaradol A.,Prince of Songkla University | Renner S.C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Renner S.C.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2016

Aim: For terrestrial organisms, a faunal transition zone between the Indochinese and Sundaic regions is delimited north of the Isthmus of Kra on the Thai-Malay Peninsula. We used a mitochondrial marker to test the predicted location of intraspecific north-south divides for four species of bulbuls (Pycnonotus). Phylogenetic relationships among Thai-Malay populations and their closest relatives from the Greater Sundas were reconstructed from a multilocus data set including 35 Pycnonotus species. Location: Indochina, Thai-Malay Peninsula, Greater Sundas. Methods: We sampled target species along a north-south transect spanning the Isthmus of Kra and reconstructed phylogeographical patterns based on ND2 haplotype networks. Phylogenies were reconstructed using Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Divergence time estimates were inferred from single-locus and multilocus data using Z.ast;beast. Results: We found mitochondrial north-south divides in all target species. Haplotypes of southern genetic clusters were distributed all across the Thai-Malay Peninsula and north into Central Thailand. Local overlap of genetic lineages was confirmed at one location in one species only. In three of the focal species, the southern limits of southern haplotype clusters were restricted to the Thai-Malay Peninsula and did not extend into the Greater Sundas. Peninsular north-south divides were dated to the late Pleistocene, whereas Indochinese-Sundaic lineage divergence was dated to the late Pliocene. Main conclusions: Population boundaries did not coincide with the Isthmus of Kra, but instead were located north of the Thai-Malay Peninsula in Central Thailand. Only one of four divides represented an Indochinese-Sundaic transition. Different phylogeographical patterns among target species were presumably shaped by different ecological preferences in Pleistocene palaeohabitats. Pliocene Indochinese-Sundaic lineage divergence in bulbuls coincides with strong vegetational changes on the Peninsula that shaped two phytogeographical transitions. Distribution limits of bird species roughly coincide with these transition zones and therefore the avifaunal Thai-Malay transition represents a broad zone rather than a sharp boundary. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Packert M.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections | Martens J.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Hering J.,Wolkenburger Strasse 11 | Kvist L.,University of Oulu | Illera J.C.,University of Oviedo
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Afrocanarian blue tits (Cyanistes teneriffae) have a scattered distribution on the Canary Islands and on the North African continent. To date, the Canary Islands have been considered the species' main Pleistocene evolutionary center, but their colonization pathways remain uncertain. We set out to reconstruct a dated multi-gene phylogeny and ancestral ranges for Cyanistes tit species including the currently unstudied, peripheral Libyan population of C. t. cyrenaicae. In all reconstructions the most easterly and westerly peripheral populations (in Libya and on La Palma) represented basal offshoots of C. teneriffae. These two peripheral populations shared all four major indels and differed in this respect from all other members of the Afrocanarian core group. The basal split of Afrocanarian blue tits from their European relatives was dated to the early Pliocene. The two ancestral area reconstructions were contradictory and suggested either a Canarian or a North African origin of C. teneriffae - but unambiguously ruled out a continental European ancestral range. We conclude that the peripheral populations of C. teneriffae represent relic lineages of a first faunal interchange, presumably downstream colonization from North Africa to the Canary Islands. Subsequent eastward stepping-stone colonization within the Canarian Archipelago culminated in a very recent late (possibly even post-) Pleistocene back-colonization from the Canary Islands to North Africa. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Brehm G.,Institute For Spezielle Zoologie Und Evolutionsbiologie Mit Phyletischem Museum | Strutzenberger P.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections | Fiedler K.,University of Vienna
Ecography | Year: 2013

Species diversity of geometrid moths (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) has previously been shown to be extremely and constantly high along a continuously forested elevational gradient in the Andes of southern Ecuador. We analysed samples taken from 32 sites between 1999 and 2011 in northern Podocarpus National Park and adjacent areas from 1020 to 2916 m a.s.l. We conjecture that high elevation habitats were historically mostly colonised by species from lower elevations, and that environmental filtering (e.g. through host plant specificity or temperature tolerance) constrained colonisation from lower elevations, which would yield a pattern of elevationally decreasing phylogenetic diversity. We analysed elevational phylogenetic patterns by means of: 1) the nearest-taxon index (NTI), 2) DNA barcode-based terminal branch lengths (TBLs) from maximum-likelihood phylogeny, 3) the subfamily composition of the local assemblages, and 4), the rarefied number of morphologically defined genera per site. We counted a total of 1445 species. NTI values significantly increased with elevation, both in a conventional and a rarefaction approach. TBLs decreased significantly with elevation. Subfamily composition profoundly changed with elevation, particularly expressed as an increased proportion of the subfamily Larentiinae and decreased fractions of Sterrhinae and Geometrinae. The number of genera in equally rarefied species resamples significantly decreased with elevation. We conclude that environmental filtering indeed contributed to an altitudinal decrease in moth phylodiversity, but these constraints prevented only relatively few clades from colonising high elevation habitats. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Tietze D.T.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Tietze D.T.,University of Heidelberg | Martens J.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Fischer B.S.,Goethe University Frankfurt | And 3 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2015

Songs in passerine birds are important for territory defense and mating. Speciation rates in oscine passerines are so high, due to cultural evolution, that this bird lineage makes up half of the extant bird species. Leaf warblers are a speciose Old-World passerine family of limited morphological differentiation, so that songs are even more important for species delimitation. We took 16 sonographic traits from song recordings of 80 leaf warbler taxa and correlated them with 15 potentially explanatory variables, pairwise, and in linear models. Based on a well-resolved molecular phylogeny of the same taxa, all pairwise correlations were corrected for relatedness with phylogenetically independent contrasts and phylogenetic generalized linear models were used. We found a phylogenetic signal for most song traits, but a strong one only for the duration of the longest and of the shortest element, which are presumably inherited instead of learned. Body size of a leaf warbler species is a constraint on song frequencies independent of phylogeny. At least in this study, habitat density had only marginal impact on song features, which even disappeared through phylogenetic correction. Maybe most leaf warblers avoid the deterioration through sound propagation in dense vegetation by singing from exposed perches. Latitudinal (and longitudinal) extension of the breeding ranges was correlated with most song features, especially verse duration (longer polewards and westwards) and complexity (lower polewards). Climate niche or expansion history might explain these correlations. The number of different element types per verse decreases with elevation, possibly due to fewer resources and congeneric species at higher elevations. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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