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Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Museum Hist Nat, Geneva.
Museum Natl Hist, Paris.
Göteborgs universitet.
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2009 (English)In: Zoologica Scripta, ISSN 0300-3256, E-ISSN 1463-6409, Vol. 38, no 3, 225-236 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Babblers, family Timaliidae, have long been subject to debate on systematic position, family limits and internal taxonomy. In this study, we use five molecular regions to estimate the relationships among a large proportion of genera traditionally placed in Timaliidae. We find good support for five main clades within this radiation, and propose a new classification, dividing the babblers into the families Sylviidae and Timaliidae. Within the latter family, four subfamilies are recognized: Zosteropinae, Timaliinae, Pellorneinae and Leiothrichinae. Several taxa, previously not studied with molecular data, are phylogenetically placed within Sylviidae or Timaliidae. This is, however, not the case for the genus Pnoepyga, for which we propose the family name Pnoepygidae fam. n.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 38, no 3, 225-236 p.
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-35281DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00374.xISI: 000265041500001OAI: diva2:286905
Available from: 2010-01-15 Created: 2010-01-15 Last updated: 2014-10-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Babblers, Biogeography and Bayesian Reasoning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Babblers, Biogeography and Bayesian Reasoning
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I try to proceed one step further towards an understanding of the biogeographic processes forming the distribution patterns of organisms that we see today. Babblers and warblers are diverse groups of passerines that are phylogenetically intermixed with other groups in the superfamily Sylvioidea.

First, the gross phylogeny of the babblers and associated groups was estimated. Five major lineages of a well-supported monophyletic babbler radiation were recovered, and we proposed a new classification at family and subfamily level. Further, the genus Pnoepyga was excluded from Timaliidae, and we proposed the new family Pnoepygidae fam. nov.

Second, the systematic position was investigated for the Albertine Rift taxon Hemitesia neumanni, which was found to be nested within the almost entirely Asian family Cettidae, and possible biogeographical scenarios were discussed. We concluded that the most plausible explanation involved late Miocene vicariance in combination with local extinctions.

Third, the historical biogeography of a Leiothrichinae subclade, the Turdoides babblers and allies, was inferred. We concluded that the Middle East region probably played an important role in the early history of this clade, followed by local extinctions in this region.

Fourth, a Bayesian method to reconstruct the historical biogeography under an event-based model was proposed, where the total biogeographic histories are sampled from its posterior probability distribution using Markov chains.

In conclusion, I believe that, especially with more sophisticated methods available, we will see an increasing number of studies inferring biogeographic histories that lead to distribution patterns built up by a combination of dispersals and vicariance, but where these distributions have been extensively reshaped, or litterally demolished, by local extinctions. Therefore, my answer to the frequently asked question dispersal or vicariance? is both, but not the least: extinctions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2012. 15 p.
Africa, Asia, Bayesian inference, biogeography, Cettidae, dispersal, extinction, Middle East, persistence, Sylvioidea, Sylviidae, Timaliidae, vicariance
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Systematic Zoology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71321 (URN)978-91-7447-438-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-01, Lilla Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows; Papers 3 and 4: ManuscriptsAvailable from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-01-27 Last updated: 2014-10-13Bibliographically approved

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