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Siberian Chiffchaff (1 Viewer)

Richard Klim

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In the latest Dutch Birding, Arnoud van den Berg (almost?) proposes species status for Phylloscopus collybita tristis:

Ref: van den Berg, AB 2009. Calls, identification and taxonomy of Siberian Chiffchaff: an analysis. Dutch Birding 31(2): 79-85.

"New taxonomy and discussion

There is no genetic proof that western tristis or 'fulvescens' are hybrids and more closely related to abietinus than to eastern tristis. Although just a few birds were sampled, Helbig et al (1996) only found evidence of gene flow between nominate collybita and abietinus, and not between tristis and abietinus. Therefore, the idea that there is a wide zone of hybridization between tristis and abietinus must be regarded as hypothetical. It is presumably based upon the cline in colour within the range of tristis, or perhaps upon the incidence of mixed-song which, by definition, is more likely to occur in western areas where abietinus may turn up (Lindholm 2008).

The differentiation of mitochondrial DNA (1.7-2.0% mtDNA divergence) was not considered high enough for elevation of tristis to species level by Helbig et al (1996). However, there are other examples of species-pairs with slight genetical differences, such as the 0.4% mtDNA divergence in Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos and Yellowhammer E citrinella (Almström et al 2008). Based upon the differences in vocalizations, one can conclude that tristis and Common Chiffchaff are not part of a cline either while hybridization may occur much less frequently than generally believed, if at all. To judge whether tristis and Common both represent a different evolutionary lineage, George Sangster (in litt) suggested that it is more important to look for a constant phenotype or consistent characters of collybita and abietinus and of tristis in areas away from the contact zone than to analyse what is happening in that zone. In this respect, the fact that Martens & Meincke (1989) demonstrated that east of the Ural mountains just one song occurs, ie, the distinctive tristis song, appears relevant.

On present knowledge, the most practical taxonomic working hypothesis is that tristis concerns a species showing slight morphological variation, becoming browner and less yellow and olive from west to east, and distinct from Common Chiffchaff in song and calls (Martens & Eck 1995, cf Dean & Svensson 2005). Some western tristis may approach abietinus in plumage coloration, which renders sounds as the most objective and reliable identification feature. ..."​

Richard
 

Daniel Philippe

Well-known member
Arnoud van den Berg (almost?) proposes species status for Phylloscopus collybita tristis

Also of interest is this abstract by Irina Marova-Kleinbub at the 2006 IOC meeting in Germany:

Distribution of song dialects in sympatric Siberian and European Chiffchaffs

Siberian and European Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita tristis, P. c. abietinus), are similar morphologically but differ markedly in song. Geographic overlap between them, discovered by Snigirevski (1938) in the southern Urals, has since been found to extend northwest to the Kanin Peninsula (Marova and Leonovich, 1993). The width and limits of the zone of overlap, and the actual distribution and interrelations of the two forms in it, still remain little known. Both tape recordings of mixed song and specimens with intermediate features in different parts of the overlap zone suggest extensive introgressive hybridization between tristis and abietinus throughout the area of overlap, represented by the so-called form “fulvescens”. Our research in the forested southern Urals at the west and east limits of overlap, nevertheless, reveals a mosaic of interaction (Marova, 2005). In some regions, both forms meet only during spring migration, for example in the Zhiguli hills. At the distributional boundaries of the both forms in the southern Urals, the typical habitat of tristis is river valleys with some firs, and of abietinus pine woods with some firs on both hills and rolling downs; neither nests in pure deciduous woods. The density of both forms at the limits of their ranges is very low, about 2-3 males every 1 km; and the territory of each male is large, about 10,000 sq.m. Moreover, the actual overlap in a study area of 100 km in the southern Urals was only about 5-7 km wide: to the west of this zone, only abietinus nested, and to the east only tristis. Within the zone, furthermore, both forms were found together at only two points, both at the conjunction of fir-pine woodlands with river valleys of willows and alders. There males of abietinus and tristis both react to one another’s songs.
 

Richard Klim

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Also of interest is this abstract by Irina Marova-Kleinbub at the 2006 IOC meeting in Germany:

... Both tape recordings of mixed song and specimens with intermediate features in different parts of the overlap zone suggest extensive introgressive hybridization between tristis and abietinus throughout the area of overlap, represented by the so-called form "fulvescens". ...
Also from Arnoud's paper:

"'Fulvescens' is based upon a type specimen from the north-west of tristis's range resembling tristis but showing a tinge of olive and traces of yellow (Vaurie 1959, Svensson 1992, Dean 2007). The birds in this region have the same song as tristis (Martens & Meincke 1989) and should not be considered as a synonym of an alleged intermediate population between tristis and abietinus. In fact, 'fulvescens' is best regarded as a form of tristis (cf Dean & Svensson 1995, Stepanyan 2003, Dean & Svensson 2005, Dean 2007, Kees Roselaar in litt)."
???

Richard
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
Also of interest is this abstract by Irina Marova-Kleinbub at the 2006 IOC meeting in Germany:

Distribution of song dialects in sympatric Siberian and European Chiffchaffs
Van den Berg quotes Martens & Meincke who did not find response (outside the zone of overlap, I assume). He does treat the mixed singers (from an earlier article by Marova), which may not necessarily be hybrids (as shown for Iberian & Common). Also, the "intermediate characters" to prove hybridisation are dismissed by van den Berg, although he admits a lack of thorough genetic study.
 

Richard Klim

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McGeehan 2011

McGeehan 2011. Siberian Chiffchaff – in from the cold. Birding World 24(1): 18-23.
Siberian Chiffchaff clearly is a different 'being' (even from ssp abietinus), and henceforth Birding World will be treating it as a full, monotypic species, P. tristis, following eg Brazil 2009 (Birds of East Asia) and van den Berg 2009 (Calls, identification and taxonomy of Siberian Chiffchaff: an analysis, Dutch Birding 31: 79-85).

Richard
 

IamWhoIam

Active member
McGeehan 2011. Siberian Chiffchaff – in from the cold. Birding World 24(1): 18-23.


Richard
That is wrong, I am doing now paper on molecular markers, both mt and nuclear, and nuclear is mixed between all populations (caucasica, abietinus, tristis, collybita), I dont have samples from menzberi, and brevirostris is just pure caucasica

So ofcourse that they differ in mtDNA and song, but they hybridize eg Marova 2009. For instance Ph sindianus (lorenzii)-I prefer to call it Ph. lorenzii does not hybridize in sympatric zones, and it is slightly different in nuclear, and clearly in mtDNK
Anyway, i hope paper will be online this year
best regards
 

Richard Klim

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...I am doing now paper on molecular markers, both mt and nuclear, and nuclear is mixed between all populations (caucasica, abietinus, tristis, collybita), I dont have samples from menzberi, and brevirostris is just pure caucasica...
...i hope paper will be online this year
Should be an interesting paper.

[If brevirostris 1837 is synonymised with caucasicus 1991, then brevirostris will have priority.]

Richard
 

Richard Klim

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Forthcoming...

Arnoud van den Berg, Birdwatch 243 (Sep 2012):
...readers will be happy to learn that a ground-breaking genetic paper on abietinus and/or tristis on passage in western Europe is currently in preparation for Dutch Birding.
 

Richard Klim

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de Knijff et al 2012

Arnoud van den Berg, Birdwatch 243 (Sep 2012):
...readers will be happy to learn that a ground-breaking genetic paper on abietinus and/or tristis on passage in western Europe is currently in preparation for Dutch Birding.
de Knijff, van der Spek & Fischer 2012. Genetic identity of grey chiffchaffs trapped in the Netherlands in autumns of 2009-11. Dutch Birding 34(6): 386–392. [Dutch summary]

All 23 examples identified in the hand as abietinus were actually found to be tristis based on mtDNA!
 
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
Really.... the mystery grey and white Chiffchaffs that 20years ago were thought to be tristis, then thought not to be tristis definitely are tristis?
 

GMK

Well-known member
That is wrong, I am doing now paper on molecular markers, both mt and nuclear, and nuclear is mixed between all populations (caucasica, abietinus, tristis, collybita), I dont have samples from menzberi, and brevirostris is just pure caucasica

So ofcourse that they differ in mtDNA and song, but they hybridize eg Marova 2009. For instance Ph sindianus (lorenzii)-I prefer to call it Ph. lorenzii does not hybridize in sympatric zones, and it is slightly different in nuclear, and clearly in mtDNK
Anyway, i hope paper will be online this year
best regards



Any news of your own paper, YouareWhoYouare? If it is available online, perhaps you'd like to flag up where?
 

IamWhoIam

Active member
Any news of your own paper, YouareWhoYouare? If it is available online, perhaps you'd like to flag up where?

Unfortunately or fortunately I keep adding new data since 2009. I added hybrid zone in Urals, and new lineage from south Caucasus last and this summer. I am in process of writing it at the moment
 

Richard Klim

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Collinson et al 2013

Collinson, Archer, Odin, Riddington & Walsh 2013. Genetic analysis of migrant Siberian Chiffchaffs in Britain and Ireland. British Birds 106(2): 109–113.
Abstract
The criteria for robust identification of migrant Siberian Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita tristis in western Europe continue to prove controversial. Whereas many 'classic' birds are identifiable on the basis of plumage and vocalisations, many others are less straightforward. This article describes a preliminary genetic analysis of three birds, two from Britain in autumn and one from Ireland in spring, which were trapped and identified as Siberian Chiffchaff. Mitochondrial cytb sequencing confirmed that all three were tristis. The results are discussed in light of the possibility of the occurrence of hybrids, and also genetic data from elsewhere in western and northern Europe.
 
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