Manuel Schweizer

Manuel Schweizer
Natural History Museum Bern · Vertebrates

PhD

About

121
Publications
47,755
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Introduction
Manuel Schweizer currently works at the Vertebrates, Natural History Museum Bern. Manuel does research in Zoology, Systematics (Taxonomy) and Evolutionary Biology.
Additional affiliations
March 2014 - January 2015
Independent Researcher
Position
  • Curator
October 2003 - March 2005
Universität Bern
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (121)
Preprint
Insights into the processes underpinning the evolution of phenotypic parallelism contribute to our understanding of the contributions of ancestral, introgressed, and novel genetic variation to phenotypic evolution. Phylogenomic analyses characterizing genome-wide gene tree heterogeneity can provide first clues about the extent of ILS and of introgr...
Article
Full-text available
Correct assessment of species limits and phylogenetic relationships is a prerequisite for studies in ecology and evolution. Even in well-studied groups such as birds, species delimitation often remains controversial. Traditional avian taxonomy is usually based on morphology, which might be misleading because of the contingent nature of evolutionary...
Article
Full-text available
Deep phylogeographic structure in mitochondrial DNA not reflected in morphological variation has been uncovered in a number of species over the past few decades. However, inferred phylogeographic structure solely based on mitochondrial DNA can be misleading and might not reflect the true history of evolutionary lineages. Consequently, such cases sh...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological differentiation associated with evolutionary diversification is often explained with adaptive benefits but the processes and mechanisms maintaining cryptic diversity are still poorly understood. Using genome-wide data, we show here that the pale sand martin Riparia diluta in Central and East Asia consists of three genetically deeply d...
Article
The Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica is a well-known but declining bird endemic to Britain and Ireland. Its taxonomic status was downgraded from species to subspecies in the mid-twentieth century but without any clear rationale. Here, we review the molecular evidence that has accumulated since the mid 1980s and address three issues: (i) the evolu...
Article
Full-text available
Background Trophic shifts from one dietary niche to another have played major roles in reshaping the evolutionary trajectories of a wide range of vertebrate groups, yet their consequences for morphological disparity and species diversity differ among groups. Methods Here, we use phylogenetic comparative methods to examine whether the evolution of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Trophic shifts from one dietary niche to another have played major roles in reshaping the evolutionary trajectories of a wide range of vertebrate groups, yet its consequences for morphological disparity and species diversity differs among groups. Methods: Here, we use phylogenetic comparative methods to examine whether the evolution of...
Article
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The identification, taxonomy and distribution of the three Delichon taxa that breed in the northern Palearctic is reviewed. In Europe, the House Martin D. urbicum is a widespread and familiar breeding bird, while claims of the eastern 'Siberian House Martin' D. (u.) lagopodum and Asian House Martin D. dasypus in the Western Palearctic have generate...
Article
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The ~1.97 million egg sets (~5 million eggs) housed in museums have not been used in proportion to their availability. We highlight the wide variety of scientific disciplines that have used egg collections and the geographic locations and sizes of these collections, to increase awareness of the importance of egg collections, improve their visibilit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim: Pleistocene climate and associated environmental changes have influenced phylogeographic patterns of many species. These not only depend on a species’ life history but also vary regionally. Consequently, populations of widespread species that occur in several biomes might display different evolutionary trajectories. We aimed to identify region...
Article
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The Arabian population of the Abyssinian White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus arabs occurs in the Asir Mountains in southwest Saudi Arabia, the highlands of Yemen, and southwest Oman. In Saudi Arabia a recently discovered, very small and enigmatic population of white-eyes Zosterops sp. indet. occurs in stands of mature mangroves on the Kingdom’s souther...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report includes the first records for Egypt of Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus, Bearded Reedling Panurus biarmicus and Banded Martin Riparia cincta, which are all additions to category A of the Egyptian list.
Article
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The feasibility to sequence entire genomes of virtually any organism provides unprecedented insights into the evolutionary history of populations and species. Nevertheless, many population genomic inferences – including the quantification and dating of admixture, introgression and demographic events, and inference of selective sweeps – are still li...
Article
Full-text available
One of the last remaining enigmas among Palearctic bird species is Vaurie’s Nightjar Caprimulgus centralasicus. It is known from a single specimen, said to be an adult female, collected in September 1929 southeast of Yarkand, Xinjiang, in westernmost China, and originally identified as an Egyptian Nightjar C. aegyptius. All major world checklists a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The feasibility to sequence entire genomes of virtually any organism provides unprecedented insights into the evolutionary history of populations and species. Nevertheless, many population genomic inferences - including the quantification and dating of admixture, introgression and demographic events, and the inference of selective sweeps - are stil...
Article
In wheatears and related species (‘open-habitat chats’), molecular phylogenetics has led to a comprehensively revised understanding of species relationships and species diversity. Phylogenetic analyses have suggested that, in many cases, phenotypic similarities do not reflect species’ relationships, revealing traditionally defined genera as non-mon...
Article
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Members of the Eurasian (or Common) Reed Warbler complex, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, are widespread across much of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. With its relatively complex taxonomy, the identity of several local (and sometimes remote) populations remains somewhat unresolved. In Saudi Arabia, populations of reed warblers were firs...
Chapter
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Most modern orders of birds evolved and diversified during the last 65 million years following the demise of the nonavian dinosaurs and pterosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Diversification rates in birds increased from c. 50 million years ago onward driven by significant rate increases in different clades scattered throughout the entire...
Article
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opulation divergence could be strongly affected by species’ ecology and might not be a direct response to climate‐driven environmental change. We tested this in the middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocoptes medius), a non‐migratory, low‐dispersal habitat specialist associated with old deciduous forests of the Western Palearctic. We present the first...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic and phenotypic mosaics, in which various phenotypes and different genomic regions show discordant patterns of species or population divergence, offer unique opportunities to study the role of ancestral and introgressed genetic variation in phenotypic evolution. Here, we investigated the evolution of discordant phenotypic and genetic diverge...
Article
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When functionally similar species co-occur, they are expected to differ in at least 1 niche axis to avoid competition. In bats, small differences in body size can influence ecology, potentially reducing niche overlap. We used yellow-shouldered bats (genus Sturnira) in Mexico as a model to investigate whether interspecific differences in body size i...
Article
Species not only responded idiosyncratically to past climate changes, there were also regionally contrasting effects on spatio-temporal diversification patterns. Studies of closely related species appear to be a particularly promising comparative approach to disentangle such regionally differential impacts. In this study, we undertook a comprehensi...
Article
Full-text available
In light of speculation in the recent literature concerning the species’ intraspecific taxonomy and personal observations, we examined specimens of the Mascarene Swiftlet Aerodramus francicus from both range islands, Mauritius and Reunion, with the aim of documenting any geographical variation in morphology. We found that specimens from Reunion cle...
Article
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The succession of glacials and interglacials during the Pleistocene strongly influenced the diversification and distribution patterns in birds. In contrast to species of temperate regions, open-habitat specialists should have experienced range expansion during the longer glacial periods, while range contractions occurred during the shorter intergla...
Article
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Emberiza striolata has traditionally been viewed as a single polytypic species, but recent taxonomic reviews of its morphology, vocalizations and genetic data have led to the recommendation that two species be recognized within this complex, the House Bunting Emberiza sahari in the west, and the Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata (including the...
Article
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Rapa Shearwater Puffinus (newelli?) myrtae is known solely from five specimens held in Tring and Paris museums, and from observations on the breeding islands. It has a potentially tiny breeding population that is apparently restricted currently to islets off Rapa (it formerly also bred on the main island of Rapa), as well as probably on Marotiri (s...
Article
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While it is now widely accepted that the rate of phenotypic evolution may not necessarily be constant across large phylogenies, the frequency and phylogenetic position of periods of rapid evolution remain unclear. In his highly influential view of evolution, G. G. Simpson supposed that such evolutionary jumps occur when organisms transition into so...
Poster
Phylogeography of the middle spotted woodpecker Leiopicus medius
Article
Full-text available
To understand the functional meaning of morphological features, we need to relate what we know about morphology and ecology in a meaningful, quantitative framework. Closely related species usually share more phenotypic features than distant ones, but close relatives do not necessarily have the same ecologies. Rodents are the most diverse group of l...
Data
Appendix: contains data definitions for the files in the online repository, supplementary tables 1 and 2, supplementary figure 1, and additional references.
Preprint
Full-text available
While it is now widely accepted that the rate of phenotypic evolution may not necessarily be constant across large phylogenies, the frequency and phylogenetic position of periods of rapid evolution remain unclear. In his highly influential view of evolution, G. G. Simpson supposed that such evolutionary jumps occur when organisms transition into so...
Article
Full-text available
A bone flute made out of a humerus of a Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus was found among ten thousands of animal bones from the 13thcentury in the old town of Bern. The flute is lacking any decoration and was obviously not manufactured by a skilled craftsman like many of the vulture bone flutes known from the Islamic period in Spain and Portugal. A Medi...
Article
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While the island of Borneo is considered a global biodiversity hotspot, the species richness in many groups remains unknown and appears underestimated. During herpetological surveys carried out in the interior of Sarawak, East Malaysia, several individuals of a small species of the genus Ansonia Stoliczka 1870 were collected on the Usun Apau platea...
Article
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On 18 January 2015, the second Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis for Switzerland was discovered in the Steinacher Bucht (cantons of St. Gallen and Thurgau) of Lake Constance. It stayed there with interruptions until 26 January and was then rediscovered at Frasnacht (canton of Thurgau) on 15 February, 4 km to the northwest from the original site a...
Article
Montane regions like the Sino-Himalayas constitute global diversity hotspots. Various mechanisms such as in situ adaptive divergence, speciation following immigration or allopatric diversification in complex landscapes have been proposed to account for the exceptional diversity found in a particular clade in a montane setting. We investigated macro...
Article
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Arid and semi-arid areas constitute a prominent feature of the earth today, especially in Asia and Africa. Their formation started in the middle Miocene with increased stepwise aridification since the Pliocene. This aridification had strong ecological and evolutionary consequences and not only led to fragmentation of moist-adapted biota, but also f...
Article
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The endemic Cyprus Scops Owl Otus (scops) cyprius has been treated as a subspecies of the widespread Eurasian Scops Owl O. scops since at least the 1940s. However, its song is distinct from that of all other subspecies of O. scops in being double-noted, rather than single-noted. Its plumage also differs, most obviously in being consistently darker...
Article
While Bufo bufois widespread in Europe, the closely related B. spinosusis parapatrically distributed in Western Europe and Northern Africa. The exact course of the contact zone between both taxa, however, is still unknown. 24 samples from Switzerland were analysed using mitochondrial and nuclear markers combined with 243 previously published sample...
Article
Full-text available
We present the postmortem findings of a fatal road accident involving a motorcyclist, a car, and a common buzzard. Both the motorcyclist and the bird died on the scene of the accident and were examined by postmortem full-body CT and autopsy. In addition, a facial injury of the motorcyclist was compared with the dimensions of the buzzard's beak and...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic and morphological analyses revealed that the type specimen of Hume’s Owl Strix butleri, the geographical provenance of which is open to doubt, differs significantly from all other specimens previously ascribed to this species. Despite the absence of vocal data definitively linked to the same population as the type specimen, we consider that...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic and morphological analyses revealed that the type specimen of Hume's Owl Strix butleri, the geographical prov-enance of which is open to doubt, differs significantly from all other specimens previously ascribed to this species. Despite the absence of vocal data definitively linked to the same population as the type specimen, we consider tha...
Article
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Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation pla...
Article
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The megophryid frogs Leptobrachella brevicrus, Leptolalax dringi and Megophrys dringi are species exclusively known from highly localised areas in isolated mountain ranges on Borneo. The tadpoles and adults in this study were collected at the shared type locality for the three species in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo). The sp...
Article
The Neotropical parrots (Arini) are an unusually diverse group which colonized South America in the Oligocene. The newly invaded Neotropics may have functioned as an underused adaptive zone and provided novel ecological opportunities that facilitated diversification. Alternatively, diversification may have been driven by ecological changes caused b...
Article
Full-text available
Specialization to nectarivory is associated with radiations within different bird groups, including parrots. One of them, the Australasian lories, were shown to be unexpectedly species-rich. Their shift to nectarivory may have created an ecological opportunity promoting species proliferation. Several morphological specializations of the feeding tra...
Data
Full-text available
Appendix S1. Mathematical Appendix.
Data
Table S2. Species sampled, Museum and collection number, GenBank Accession numbers for the four genes analyzed.
Data
Full-text available
Table S1. Number of individuals analyzed for each morphological trait.
Article
Full-text available
The monophyly of the African ‘brown bunting’ complex was corroborated by a recent molecular study. However, the little-known Socotran endemic Emberiza socotrana, which is morphologically similar to the other taxa in this complex, was not included. Here we present a hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationships of the Socotra Bunting based on one mit...
Article
Full-text available
The North African population of the Black Wheatear has been treated as Oenanthe leucura syenitica for over 100 years. The type of syenitica was collected by Heuglin in June 1852 near the southern Egypt/northern Sudan border, well outside the range of the sedentary Black Wheatear. Morphometric inference and genetic analyses of partial sequences of t...
Article
The morphologically inferred Oenanthe lugens complex comprises nine taxa of open-habitat chats which occur in rocky and/or mountainous areas adjacent to the Saharo-Sindian desert belt. It has traditionally been divided into the lugubris group of north-east Africa, the lugentoides group of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula and the lugens gr...