The tempo of avian diversification during the Quaternary
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B
The Royal Society of London
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It is generally assumed that the Quaternary was a period of heightened diversification in temperate vertebrate organisms. Previous molecular systematics studies have challenged this assertion. We re-examined this issue in north temperate birds using log-lineage plots and distributions of sister-taxon distances. Log-lineage plots support earlier conclusions that avian diversification slowed during the Quaternary. To test plots of empirical sister-taxon distances we simulated three sets of phylogenies: constant speciation and extinction, a pulse of recent speciation, and a pulse of recent extinction. Previous opinions favour the model of recent speciation although our empirical dataset on 74 avian comparisons failed to reject a distribution derived from the constant and extinction models. Hence, it does not appear that the Quaternary was a period of exceptional rates of diversification, relative to the background rate.
Biodiversity; Diversification rates; Log-lineage plots; Paleobiogeography; Phylogeny; Quaternary; Sister taxa; Simulated phylogenies
Biodiversity | Evolution | Ornithology | Population Biology
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Zink, R. M.,
Barber, B. R.
The tempo of avian diversification during the Quaternary.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 359(1442),
Available at: http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/hrc_ornithology/29