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Systematic relationships and biogeography of the tracheophone suboscines (Aves: Passeriformes)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen.
Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm.
Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Swedish Museum of Natural History.
2002 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, Vol. 23, no 3, 499-512 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on their highly specialized “tracheophone” syrinx, the avian families Furnariidae (ovenbirds), Dendrocolaptidae (woodcreepers), Formicariidae (ground antbirds), Thamnophilidae (typical antbirds), Rhinocryptidae (tapaculos), and Conopophagidae (gnateaters) have long been recognized to constitute a monophyletic group of suboscine passerines. However, the monophyly of these families have been contested and their interrelationships are poorly understood, and this constrains the possibilities for interpreting adaptive tendencies in this very diverse group. In this study we present a higher-level phylogeny and classification for the tracheophone birds based on phylogenetic analyses of sequence data obtained from 32 ingroup taxa. Both mitochondrial (cytochrome b) and nuclear genes (c-myc, RAG-1, and myoglobin) have been sequenced, and more than 3000 bp were subjected to parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses. The phylogenetic signals in the mitochondrial and nuclear genes were compared and found to be very similar. The results from the analysis of the combined dataset (all genes, but with transitions at third codon positions in the cytochrome b excluded) partly corroborate previous phylogenetic hypotheses, but several novel arrangements were also suggested. Especially interesting is the result that the genus Melanopareia represents a basal branch within the tracheophone group, positioned in the phylogenetic tree well away from the typical tapaculos with which it has been supposed to group. Other novel results include the observation that the ground antbirds are paraphyletic and that Sclerurus is the sister taxon to an ovenbird–woodcreeper clade. Patterns of generic richness within each clade suggest that the early differentiation of feeble-winged forest groups took place south of the Amazon Basin, while the more recent diversification was near the equator and (in tapaculos and ovenbirds) in the south of the continent

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2002. Vol. 23, no 3, 499-512 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23263DOI: 10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00034-9OAI: diva2:190974
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Molecular systematics of the antbird-ovenbird complex (Aves: Furnariida)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Molecular systematics of the antbird-ovenbird complex (Aves: Furnariida)
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns the phylogenetic relationships among suboscine birds with special emphasis on the antbird-ovenbird complex (Aves: Furnariida). The principal aim is to produce a framework for future systematic and comparative studies of suboscines by generating robust phylogenetic hypotheses from DNA-sequence data. Several gene regions, mostly from the nuclear genome, are used in order to get genetically independent estimates of phylogenetic relationships. The study is pioneering in the extensive use of nuclear DNA sequences to resolve passerine relationships.

The phylogenetic hypotheses are overall well supported by high nodal support values, and there is an overall good phylogenetic agreement between the different gene regions used. Several existing hypotheses about deeper relationships among New World suboscines based on morphology and DNA-DNA hybridisations are corroborated. In addition, novel hypotheses of relationships within the antbird-ovenbird complex are generated, e.g., a non-monophyletic origin of the ground antbirds, a basal position of the genus Sclerurus in relation to woodcreepers and core-ovenbirds, and a basal position of the genera Terenura, Myrmornis, Pygiptila and Thamnistes in relation to other typical antbirds.

Based on the results the current knowledge of systematic relationships among suboscines in general, and within the antbird-ovenbird complex in particular, are summarised and discussed. The thesis also includes discussions of recent methodological developments in avian molecular systematics, the use of morphological characters in phylogenetic reconstruction, and the problem of phylogenetic incongruence between data sets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Zoologiska institutionen, 2004. 22 p.
systematics phylogeny DNA antbird ovenbird
National Category
Biological Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209 (URN)91-7265-937-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-09-15, filmsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25Bibliographically approved

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