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Moscow, Russia

Zink R.M.,University of Minnesota | Ericson P.G.P.,Swedish Museum of Natural History | Fadeev I.V.,State Darwin Museum
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim: Boreal forest bird species appear to be divided into lineages endemic to each northern continent, in contrast to Holarctic species living in open habitats. For example, the three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and the winter wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) have divergent Nearctic and Palaearctic mitochondrial DNA clades. Furthermore, in these species, the next closest relative of the Nearctic/Palaearctic sister lineages is the Nearctic clade, suggesting that the Palaearctic may have been colonized from the Nearctic. The aim of this study is to test this pattern of intercontinental divergence and colonization in another Holarctic boreal forest resident - the pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator). Location: The Holarctic. Methods: We sequenced the mitochondrial ND2 gene and Z-specific intron 9 of the ACO1 gene for 74 pine grosbeaks collected across the Holarctic. The sequences were used to reconstruct the phylogeographical history of this species using maximum likelihood analysis. Results: We discovered two distinct mitochondrial and Z-specific lineages in the Nearctic and one in the Palaearctic. The two Nearctic mtDNA lineages, one in the northern boreal forest and one in south-western mountain forest, were more closely related to each other than either was to the Palaearctic clade. Two Nearctic Z-chromosome clades were sympatric in the boreal and south-western mountain forests. Unlike the topology of the mtDNA tree, the relationship among the Z-chromosome clades was the same as in the three-toed woodpecker and winter wren [Nearctic (Nearctic, Palaearctic)]. The Palaearctic Z-chromosome clade had much lower genetic diversity and a single-peak mismatch distribution with a mean < 25% of that for either Nearctic region, both of which had ragged mismatch distributions. Main conclusions: Our data suggest that, similar to the other boreal forest species, the pine grosbeak has divergent lineages in each northern continent and could have colonized the Palaearctic from the Nearctic. Compared with many Holarctic birds inhabiting open habitats, boreal forest species appear to be more differentiated, possibly because the boreal forests of the Nearctic and Palaearctic have been isolated since the Pliocene (3.5 Ma). © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Rubtsov A.S.,State Darwin Museum
Biology Bulletin | Year: 2015

Biological diversity is continuous as a result of evolutionary processes, whereas the language for its description is symbolic and, therefore, discrete. Thus, the main question of the “species problem” is as follows: do species really exist in nature or not? The answer of this question depends on the “system of coordinates” that is used for the description of species. Species inhabiting the same territory (“one-dimensional species”) are usually discrete. However, when we begin to describe closely related forms within their ranges (“two-dimensional species”), the determination of the interspecific border becomes problematic. Therefore, speciation can be defined as the process of establishing the sympatry between diverging taxa, and species can be defined as morphologically distinguishable groups of organisms that can coexist in the sympatry zone for a long time. The diversity of the existing species concepts can be reduced to the two main ones—biological and phylogenetic. The latter has a disadvantage compared to the former because it does not deal with the theoretical substantiation of the species reality. But within the framework of the concepts of biological species, the theoretical substantiation of species reality (the hypothesis of the reinforcement of isolating mechanisms in a hybrid zone) has no reliable empirical support too. Another substantial disadvantage is that the use of the biological concept in practice may lead to misinterpretation of the taxonomic status of forms at different stages of the speciation process. At the initial stages of divergence, taxa can be regarded as independent species (for example, ecological races of the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), whereas at the final stage of speciation, forms are regarded as conspecific due to their hybridization in the sympatry zone (the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella and the pine bunting E. leucocephala). The “species problem” seems to be solvable using a synthesis of the biological and phylogenetic concepts of species. © 2015, Pleiades Publishing, Inc. Source

Rubtsov A.S.,State Darwin Museum | Opaev A.S.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology
Biology Bulletin | Year: 2012

The yellowhammer and pine bunting represent a quite rare case of mass hybridization in a broad secondary contact zone. Previously, it was shown that the two forms did not differ by mitochondrial DNA (Irwin et al., 2009). This result allowed suggesting either a very close evolutionary relationship between these species or a consequence of borrowing the mitochondrial genome due to long-term hybridization. An attempt to reconstruct the phylogeny of these species was made on the basis of cluster analysis performed relative to the song characters and morphological features (male coloration and morphometric characters). The geographical variability of songs in yellowhammers and pine buntings was also investigated. The cladistic analysis included another 5 closely related bunting species: cirl (E. cirlus), chestnut-breasted (E. stewarti), ortolan (E. hortulana), grey-necked (E. buchanani), and Cretzschmar's bunting (E. caesia). Based on the results of our analysis, the yellowhammer and pine bunting show no sister relationship. They compose the smallest clusters: one with the cirl bunting and the other one with the chestnut-breasted bunting. Thus, in this paper we attempt to prove the hypothesis of a high divergence level between the species and mtDNA introgression from the pine bunting into the yellowhammer following long term hybridization. The analysis of song dialects agrees with the assumption that there existed an ancient hybrid zone between the yellowhammer and the pine bunting in Europe. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. Source

Drovetski S.V.,University of Tromso | Rakovic M.,Natural History Museum Belgrade | Semenov G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Fadeev I.V.,State Darwin Museum | Red'kin Y.A.,Moscow State University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Phylogeographic studies of Holarctic birds are challenging because they involve vast geographic scale, complex glacial history, extensive phenotypic variation, and heterogeneous taxonomic treatment across countries, all of which require large sample sizes. Knowledge about the quality of phylogeographic information provided by different loci is crucial for study design. We use sequences of one mtDNA gene, one sex-linked intron, and one autosomal intron to elucidate large scale phylogeographic patterns in the Holarctic lark genus Eremophila. The mtDNA ND2 gene identified six geographically, ecologically, and phenotypically concordant clades in the Palearctic that diverged in the Early - Middle Pleistocene and suggested paraphyly of the horned lark (E. alpestris) with respect to the Temminck's lark (E. bilopha). In the Nearctic, ND2 identified five subclades which diverged in the Late Pleistocene. They overlapped geographically and were not concordant phenotypically or ecologically. Nuclear alleles provided little information on geographic structuring of genetic variation in horned larks beyond supporting the monophyly of Eremophila and paraphyly of the horned lark. Multilocus species trees based on two nuclear or all three loci provided poor support for haplogroups identified by mtDNA. The node ages calculated using mtDNA were consistent with the available paleontological data, whereas individual nuclear loci and multilocus species trees appeared to underestimate node ages. We argue that mtDNA is capable of discovering independent evolutionary units within avian taxa and can provide a reasonable phylogeographic hypothesis when geographic scale, geologic history, and phenotypic variation in the study system are too complex for proposing reasonable a priori hypotheses required for multilocus methods. Finally, we suggest splitting the currently recognized horned lark into five Palearctic and one Nearctic species. © 2014 Drovetski et al. Source

In this study we use mtDNA ND2 gene (1041 bp) to evaluate the relationship between Menzbir's (Anthus [gustavi] menzbieri) and Pechora (A. [g.] gustavi) pipits. Menzbir's pipit is listed in the regional Red Data Book as a distinct, rare species with a small range. We obtained 18 Pechora pipit samples from two localities and 8 Menzbir's pipit samples from a single locality. Sequences of the two taxa appear reciprocally monophyletic and are separated by 6 substitutions (0.6% divergence). Differences between the taxa explained 62.4% of the variation in our dataset. Differences among individuals within localities explained 34.8%, whereas differences between the two Pechora pipit localities explained only 2.8%. Mismatch distributions suggest that unlike the Pechora pipit localities, which either have experienced recent population growth or sustain a stable population size, the Menzbir's pipit population may be declining. Our results suggest distinct taxonomic and conservation status for the Menzbir's pipit. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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