Phylogenetic Relationships and Historical Biogeography of Neotropical Parrots (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae: Arini) Inferred from Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA Sequences

Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, R. do Matão 277, (C.Y.M.), 05508-090, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Systematic Biology (Impact Factor: 14.39). 07/2006; 55(3):454-70. DOI: 10.1080/10635150600697390
Source: PubMed


Previous hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships among Neotropical parrots were based on limited taxon sampling and lacked support for most internal nodes. In this study we increased the number of taxa (29 species belonging to 25 of the 30 genera) and gene sequences (6388 base pairs of RAG-1, cyt b, NADH2, ATPase 6, ATPase 8, COIII, 12S rDNA, and 16S rDNA) to obtain a stronger molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for this group of birds. Analyses of the combined gene sequences using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods resulted in a well-supported phylogeny and indicated that amazons and allies are a sister clade to macaws, conures, and relatives, and these two clades are in turn a sister group to parrotlets. Key morphological and behavioral characters used in previous classifications were mapped on the molecular tree and were phylogenetically uninformative. We estimated divergence times of taxa using the molecular tree and Bayesian and penalized likelihood methods that allow for rate variation in DNA substitutions among sites and taxa. Our estimates suggest that the Neotropical parrots shared a common ancestor with Australian parrots 59 Mya (million of years ago; 95% credibility interval (CrI) 66, 51 Mya), well before Australia separated from Antarctica and South America, implying that ancestral parrots were widespread in Gondwanaland. Thus, the divergence of Australian and Neotropical parrots could be attributed to vicariance. The three major clades of Neotropical parrots originated about 50 Mya (95% CrI 57, 41 Mya), coinciding with periods of higher sea level when both Antarctica and South America were fragmented with transcontinental seaways, and likely isolated the ancestors of modern Neotropical parrots in different regions in these continents. The correspondence between major paleoenvironmental changes in South America and the diversification of genera in the clade of amazons and allies between 46 and 16 Mya suggests they diversified exclusively in South America. Conversely, ancestors of parrotlets and of macaws, conures, and allies may have been isolated in Antarctica and/or the southern cone of South America, and only dispersed out of these southern regions when climate cooled and Antarctica became ice-encrusted about 35 Mya. The subsequent radiation of macaws and their allies in South America beginning about 28 Mya (95% CrI 22, 35 Mya) coincides with the uplift of the Andes and the subsequent formation of dry, open grassland habitats that would have facilitated ecological speciation via niche expansion from forested habitats.

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Available from: Cristina Y Miyaki, Jan 23, 2016
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    • "The degree of similarity among acoustic signals in groups of closely related species could be related to phylogenetic relationships, as shown for anurans, insects, birds and mammals (Robillard et al., 2006; Tavares et al., 2006; Cap et al., 2008; Gingras et al., of knowledge is at an early stage as compared with amphibians or other animal groups. Nevertheless, as for anurans, the acoustic signals of teleosts could be useful for phylogenetic reconstruction, due to the instinctual and stereotyped nature of their vocalizations. "
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    • "ND2 sequences were taken from GenBank or generated using the primers MetL and ASNH for PCR amplification and sequencing from both sides (Tavares et al. 2006). The laboratory methods followed Schweizer et al. (2010) using the PCR Protocol of Tavares et al. (2006) for ND 2 with the annealing temperature set to 53°C. The alignment of the sequences was done manually with BioEdit (Hall 1999). "
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    • "Weir, 2006; Hoorn et al., 2010). This diversification may have occurred as a result of niche expansion and ecological speciation , or as a result of vicariance events between isolated habitat patches (Tavares et al., 2006; Schweizer et al., 2011). Arini are a good clade in which to explore continentalscale diversification, and should permit us to assess the relative importance of the classical model of adaptive radiation on the one hand – which involves the filling of a fixed set of niches after an initial colonization event – and the more continuous process of diversification driven by dynamic and changing environments on the other. "
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