Integrative taxonomy of the Plain-backed Thrush(Zoothera mollissima) complex(Aves, Turdidae) reveals cryptic species, including a new species Background: The Plain-backed Thrush Zoothera mollissima breeds in the Himalayas and mountains of central China. It was long considered conspecific with the Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni, until these were shown to be broadly sympatric.Methods: We revise the Z. mollissima–Z. dixoni complex by integrating morphological, acoustic, genetic(two mitochondrial and two nuclear markers), ecological and distributional datasets.Results: In earlier field observations, we noted two very different song types of "Plain-backed" Thrush segregated by breeding habitat and elevation. Further integrative analyses congruently identify three groups: an alpine breeder in the Himalayas and Sichuan, China("Alpine Thrush"); a forest breeder in the eastern Himalayas and northwest Yunnan(at least), China("Himalayan Forest Thrush"); and a forest breeder in central Sichuan("Sichuan Forest Thrush"). Alpine and Himalayan Forest Thrushes are broadly sympatric, but segregated by habitat and altitude, and the same is probably true also for Alpine and Sichuan Forest Thrushes. These three groups differ markedly in morphology and songs. In addition, DNA sequence data from three non-breeding specimens from Yunnan indicate that yet another lineage exists("Yunnan Thrush"). However, we find no consistent morphological differences from Alpine Thrush, and its breeding range is unknown. Molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest that all four groups diverged at least a few million years ago, and identify Alpine Thrush and the putative "Yunnan Thrush" as sisters, and the two forest taxa as sisters. Cytochrome b divergences among the four Z. mollissima sensu lato(s.l.) clades are similar to those between any of them and Z. dixoni, and exceed that between the two congeneric outgroup species. We lectotypify the name Oreocincla rostrata Hodgson, 1845 with the Z. mollissima sensu stricto(s.s.) specimen long considered its type. No available name unambiguously pertains to the Himalayan Forest Thrush.Conclusions: T...Species delimitation in the White-faced Cuckoo-dove(Turacoena manadensis) based on bioacoustic data Background: The White-faced Cuckoo-dove(Turacoena manadensis) is a poorly-known Wallacean endemic with a limited distribution on Sulawesi and its satellites, including the Togian, Banggai and Sula archipelagoes. In 1900, populations from the Sula archipelago were awarded subspecies status T. manadensis sulaensis based on smaller size and minor differences in plumage; however, this distinction has not been corroborated subsequently, and T. manadensis is considered by most modern sources to be monotypic across its range.Methods: We conducted vocal analysis of the cuckoo-doves’ main song using recordings collected from across the taxon’s natural range. Descriptive information on the songs was obtained from the recordings using bioacoustic analysis software, after which several statistical methods were used to investigate differences in vocalizations among populations.Results: We report deep bioacoustic divergences in vocal trait pattern from across the cuckoo-doves’ range, with birds from Peleng and Taliabu in the east having a different vocal trait pattern from birds from Sulawesi, Buton, and Togian in the west. These patterns agree with changes in landmass that accompanied the sea level fluctuations caused by Pleistocene glacial cycles, and indicate that eastern and western cuckoo-dove populations are at the level of different biological species.Conclusions: We propose that the eastern taxon be elevated to species level as T. sulaensis. Given the rampant degree of habitat destruction in its limited range, this taxonomic change will have important implications on the conservation status of T. sulaensis.
Genomic insights into hybridization in a localized region of sympatry between pewee sister species(Contopus sordidulus × C. virens) and their chromosomal patterns of differentiation Background: The Great Plains of the United States includes a large number of hybrid and contact zones between bird species. The amount of gene flow between sister species in these zones ranges from very rare hybridization events to widespread and prevalent introgression. Some of these avian systems have been studied extensively, while others have been indeterminate of whether hybridization exists in areas of sympatry. Using genomic-level approaches allows investigation of genomic patterns of hybridization and gene flow between species—or lack thereof.Methods: We investigated a narrow zone of sympatry in Nebraska, USA between pewee species(Contopus sordidulus and C. virens), for which no hybridization has been confirmed. We used thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify potential hybridization and investigate genomic patterns of differentiation between these two species.Results: We found evidence of multiple hybrid individuals in the contact zone. Little genomic variation was fixed between species, but a large proportion had differentiated allele frequencies between species. There was a positive relationship between genetic differentiation and chromosome size.Conclusions: We provided the first conclusive evidence of hybridization between C. sordidulus and C. virens, in a region where secondary contact likely occurred due to human disturbance and habitat modification. The genomic patterns of differentiation affirm that these species split in the relatively recent past. Finally, the relationship of chromosome size and genetic differentiation may have resulted from differential rates of chromosomal recombination in songbirds and genetic differentiation between species largely due to genetic drift(possibly in concert with selection).
The effects of sun exposure on carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina of the House Finch(Haemorhous mexicanus) Background: Diet-derived carotenoid pigments are concentrated in the retinas of birds and serve a variety of functions, including photoprotection. In domesticated bird species(e.g., chickens and quail), retinal carotenoid pigmentation has been shown to respond to large manipulations in light exposure and provide protection against photodamage. However, it is not known if or how wild birds respond to ecologically relevant variation in sun exposure.Methods: We manipulated the duration of natural sunlight exposure and dietary carotenoid levels in wild-caught captive House Finches(Haemorhous mexicanus), then measured carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina.Results: We found no significant effects of sun exposure on retinal levels of carotenoids or lipid peroxidation, in replicate experiments, in winter(Jan–Mar) and spring/summer(May–June). Dietary carotenoid supplementation in the spring/summer experiment led to significantly higher retinal carotenoid levels, but did not affect lipid peroxidation. Carotenoid levels differed significantly between the winter and spring/summer experiments, with higher retinal and lower plasma carotenoid levels in birds from the later experiment.Conclusion: Our results suggest that variation in the duration of exposure to direct sunlight have limited influence on intraspecific variation in retinal carotenoid accumulation, but that accumulation may track other seasonal–environmental cues and physiological processes.
Effects of location, orchard type, laying period and nest position on the reproductive performance of Turtle Doves(Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland Background: Until recently little was known about factors affecting reproductive parameters of the Turtle Dove(Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland in the Mediterranean area. In this study, the reproductive parameters of this game species were evaluated in relation to location, orchard type, laying period and nest position in central Morocco.Methods: A total of 317 nests were found and analyzed across five breeding seasons(2004–2008) in the Haouz and Tadla regions, over two major agro-ecosystems made up of olive and orange orchards. Nest position, laying period, clutch size and the number of chicks hatched and fledged per nest were determined on 120 study plots. I used Generalized Linear Models(GLMs) with a Poisson distribution and a log link function, including the logarithm of the number of eggs in each clutch as an offset to model the number of chicks hatched and fledged per nest.Results: Clutch-size was not affected by location, orchard type, laying period or nest position. The number of chicks hatched per nest differed between orchard types; they were greater in olive orchards(1.33 ± 0.06) than in orange ones(1.03 ± 0.08), whereas the number of chicks fledged per nest consistently differed with laying period and orchard type, which were higher in the early laying period(1.22 ± 0.07) than in the late period(0.93 ± 0.08) and higher in olive orchards(1.22 ± 0.06) than in orange orchards(0.90 ± 0.06). Neither location nor nest position were related to variation in the fledging success of the Turtle Dove.Conclusions: Olive orchards and the early laying period confer better nesting conditions than orange orchards and the late laying period. Although nest position could be different in each orchard type, it did not affect the breeding success of the Turtle Dove, suggesting that factors other than tree characteristics are influential. Further studies are needed to improve our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance, especially ag...Experimental evidence for ovarian hypofunction in sparrow hybrids Background: Postzygotic isolation in the form of reduced viability and/or fertility of hybrids may help maintain species boundaries in the face of interspecific gene flow. Past hybridization events between house sparrows(Passer domesticus) and Spanish sparrows(P. hispaniolensis) have given rise to a homoploid hybrid species, the Italian sparrow(P. italiae). Although genetic incompatibilities are known to isolate these three species, the biological consequences of these incompatibilities are still unknown in early generation hybrids.Methods: We investigated whether F1 hybrids between house and Spanish sparrows experience reduced viability or fertility. More specifically, we generated hybrids through controlled crosses in aviaries, and compared ovaries of female hybrids with female of pure?species sparrows.Results: We found that overall, hybrid ovaries were underdeveloped and that half of all female hybrids exhibited symptoms of ovarian hypofunction(ovarian atrophy and complete absence of developed follicles).Conclusions: Fertility in hybrids is a common consequence or post?zygotic barriers between species. We discuss these results in light of previous findings on genetic incompatibilities between the parent species and the potential role of incompatibilities in hybrid speciation, a rare evolutionary process in birds.
Avian Research <正>Aims and Scope Avian Research is an open access,peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality research and review articles on all aspects of ornithology from all over the world.It aims to report the latest and most significant progress in ornithology and to encourage exchange of ideas among international ornithologists.As an Open Access journal,Avian Research provides a unique opportunity to publish