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New Yellow-rumped Warbler study (1 Viewer)

Chris Benesh

So much work, so little time...so let's go birding
Hi All,

Here is something to make those Yellow-rumped Warblers just a little bit more interesting. The resident, highland forms south of the U.S. fall out as being somewhat divergent from North American forms.

Speciation and rapid phenotypic differentiation in the
yellow-rumped warbler Dendroica coronata complex.

BORJA MILÁ, THOMAS B. SMITH and ROBERT K. WAYNE
Molecular Ecology (2007) 16: 159–173.

Abstract: The relative importance of the Pleistocene glacial cycles in driving avian speciation remains controversial, partly because species limits in many groups remain poorly understood, and because current taxonomic designations are often based on phenotypic characteristics of uncertain phylogenetic significance. We use mtDNA sequence data to examine patterns of genetic variation, sequence divergence and phylogenetic relationships between phenotypically distinct groups of the yellow-rumped warbler complex. Currently classified as a single species, the complex is composed of two North American migratory forms (myrtle warbler Dendroica coronata coronata and Audubon's warbler Dendroica coronata auduboni), and two largely sedentary forms: Dendroica coronata nigrifrons of Mexico, and Dendroica coronata goldmani of Guatemala. The latter are typically considered to be races of the Audubon's warbler based on plumage characteristics. However, mtDNA sequence data reveal that sedentary Mesoamerican forms are reciprocally monophyletic to each other and to migratory forms, from which they show a long history of isolation. In contrast, migratory myrtle and Audubon's warblers form a single cluster due to high levels of shared ancestral polymorphism as evidenced by widespread sharing of mtDNA haplotypes despite marked phenotypic differentiation. Sedentary and migratory forms diverged in the early Pleistocene, whereas phenotypic differentiation between the two migratory forms has occurred in the Holocene and is likely the result of geographical isolation and subsequent range expansion since the last glaciation. Our results underscore the importance of Quaternary climatic events in driving songbird speciation and indicate that plumage traits can evolve remarkably fast, thus rendering them potentially misleading for inferring systematic relationships.
Keywords: Holocene; phylogeography; Pleistocene; plumage evolution; postglacial expansion; speciation

Chris
 

tomjenner

Well-known member
That's interesting Chris; I would like to get hold of the paper. Goldman's Yellow-rumped Warbler (currently Dendroica coronata goldmani) of Guatemala is almost completely unknown and is certainly worthy of future study. Last year I made some recordings of their song (to my knowledge, the first recordings of this form) and they were very different from Audubons and Myrtle Warblers. I would be interested in knowing if there are any previous recordings of this form, or of D. c. nigrifrons from Mexico. In light of these mitochondrial DNA studies, it might be worth publishing something on vocalizations, if I can get hold of recordings of nigrifrons.

Tom
 

Chris Benesh

So much work, so little time...so let's go birding
tomjenner said:
That's interesting Chris; I would like to get hold of the paper. Goldman's Yellow-rumped Warbler (currently Dendroica coronata goldmani) of Guatemala is almost completely unknown and is certainly worthy of future study. Last year I made some recordings of their song (to my knowledge, the first recordings of this form) and they were very different from Audubons and Myrtle Warblers. I would be interested in knowing if there are any previous recordings of this form, or of D. c. nigrifrons from Mexico. In light of these mitochondrial DNA studies, it might be worth publishing something on vocalizations, if I can get hold of recordings of nigrifrons.

Tom
Hi Tom,

PM me with your email address and I will send you a copy of the paper. I would be interested to hear your recordings of Goldman's Warbler. I got some extremely poor recordings of a chip note and two weak songs the one time I encountered Goldman's in Guatemala (at a highland site above San Francisco El Alto on the road to Momostenango that Jason Berry took me to) in 2002. The chip note was rather unlike that of the Audubon's and Myrtle variations I know. I would be happy to send you the crappy recordings of mine too if you're interested.

Chris
 

tomjenner

Well-known member
Thanks Chris, I will send you a P.M. The chip note would also be of interest, as I am told that they are the more 'hard-wired' vocalizations, that can be useful in looking at phylogenetic relationships. I recorded some chip notes, but there were other warblers in the area, so I cannot confirm with any certainty which species they were from.

Tom
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Where do the distinctive dark "Audubon's" that breed in SE Arizona mountains and southward into Mexico fit in ? I'm assuming the research included material from these birds too.
 
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