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Mitochondrial DNA Variation, Species Limits, and Rapid Evolution of Plumage Coloration and Size in the Savannah Sparrow

Robert M. Zink, James D. Rising, Steve Mockford, Andrew G. Horn, Jonathan M. Wright, Marty Leonard and M. C. Westberg
The Condor
Vol. 107, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 21-28
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3247750
Page Count: 8
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Mitochondrial DNA Variation, Species Limits, and Rapid Evolution of Plumage Coloration and Size in the Savannah Sparrow
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Abstract

We compared sequences from two mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes (ND2, ND3) in Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis; n = 112) sampled from Baja California (five sites), coastal Sonora and the continental range (eight sites). Populations from Baja California, San Diego and Sonora formed a clade within which there was no phylogeographic structure; this clade merits species status (Passerculus rostratus). The other clade, consisting of phenotypically "typical" savannah sparrows, should be classified as P. sandwichensis. Among the typical sparrows, there was no phylogeographic structure, although two major clades were discovered. Representatives of each of the two main clades occurred at most sampling localities, excluding Suisan Bay, California and Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Haplotypes found on Sable Island, representing the "Ipswich Sparrow," were not distinctive, thereby failing to support species status for this taxon. On Isla San Benito, a single haplotype was found, which also occurred in other Mexican localities. The results for Sable Island and Isla San Benito show that size and plumage coloration can evolve rapidly. /// En este estudio comparamos secuencias de dos genes mitocondriales (ND2 y ND3) entre individuos de la especie Passerculus sandwichensis (n = 112) muestreados en Baja California (5 sitios), la costa de Sonora y el rango de distribución continental (8 sitios). Las poblaciones de Baja California, San Diego y Sonora formaron un clado, al interior del cual no existió estructura filogeográfica; este clado merece estatus de especie (Passerculus rostratus). El otro clado, conformado por individuos fenotípicamente "típicos", debe clasificarse como P. sandwichensis. Entre los individuos típicos no existió estructura filogeográfica, aunque se descubrieron dos clados principales. Individuos representativos de cada uno de estos dos clados se encontraron en la mayoría de las localidades, excepto Suisan Bay, California y Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Los haplotipos encontrados en Sable Island, correspondientes al "gorrión de Ipswich" no fueron distintivos, lo que no apoya el estatus de especie para este taxón. En Isla San Benito se encontró un solo halpotipo, el cual también se encontraba en otras localidades mexicanas. Los resultados de Sable Island e Isla San Benito muestran que el tamaño y la coloración del plumaje pueden evolucionar rápidamente.

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