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Speciation in North American Chickadees: I. Patterns of mtDNA Genetic Divergence

Frank B. Gill, Alison M. Mostrom and Andrew L. Mack
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Feb., 1993), pp. 195-212
DOI: 10.2307/2410129
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Page Count: 18
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Speciation in North American Chickadees: I. Patterns of mtDNA Genetic Divergence
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We surveyed mitochondrial DNA haplotype divergence within and between populations of six species of North American chickadees (Parus, Subgenus Poecile) with the following results. (1) Genotype diversities (range 0.3 to 0.7) and low nucleotide diversities (range 3 to 27 x 10-4) within populations were typical of known vertebrates. (2) The two widespread, northern species (atricapillus and hudsonicus) exhibit little mtDNA genetic differentiation throughout their previously glaciated continental distributions, most likely because of recent, postglacial range expansions. (3) Newfoundland populations of atricapillus and maritime province (Newfoundland plus Nova Scotia) populations of hudsonicus have distinct mtDNA haplotypes which differ from continental haplotypes by single restriction site changes. (4) Haplotypes of the southeastern U.S. species P carolinensis divide into eastern and western sets which have diverged by three percent. This heretofore unrecognized, divided population structure may correspond to the Tombigbee River/Mobile Bay disjunction known in some other vertebrate taxa. (5) Allopatric populations of the southwestern species sclateri and gambeli exhibit divergences of one and three percent respectively. (6) Prevailing interspecific divergence distances of three to seven percent suggest speciation early in the Pleistocene rather than during late (e.g., Wisconsin) glaciations. (7) Phylogenetic analyses suggest that North American taxa include two clades, hudsonicus-rufescens-sclateri versus carolinensis-atricapillus-gambeli and that carolinensis and atricapillus are not sister species.