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Patterns of Speciation in Indian Birds

S. Dillon Ripley and Bruce M. Beehler
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 17, No. 6 (Nov., 1990), pp. 639-648
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845145
Page Count: 10
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Patterns of Speciation in Indian Birds
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Abstract

We analysed the distributions of fifty-eight avian sister-species pairs from the Indian region in order to determine the concordance of inter-species range boundaries with physiographic barriers in the region, and to delineate the degree to which the pattern of distribution of the species-pairs accords with the predictions of four models of geographic speciation. Fifty species-pairs exhibited range boundaries that were associated with one or more major environmental features of the Indian subcontinent: major river system (twenty), salt water passage (fifteen), mountain chain (ten), break in mountain chair (four), plains/mountain discontinuity (six). Among our Indian sample of sister-species pairs, we found examples showing a favourable fit to each of the four speciation models: dispersal model (twenty-five examples), vicariance model (eleven), refugial model (eight), parapatric model (six); eight examples could not be assigned with certainty. Support for the rarely-considered parapatric model is consistent enough to warrant further investigation of its possible importance in vertebrate speciation.

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