Title

The tempo of avian diversification during the Quaternary

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2004

Publication Title

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B

Publisher

The Royal Society of London

Volume

359

Issue

1442

First page number:

215

Last page number:

220

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Biodiversity; Diversification rates; Log-lineage plots; Paleobiogeography; Phylogeny; Quaternary; Sister taxa; Simulated phylogenies

Disciplines

Biodiversity | Evolution | Ornithology | Population Biology

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited.

Identifier

DOI: http://ezproxy.library.unlv.edu/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2003.1392