Title

Pleistocene speciation and the mitochondrial DNA clock: A response to Arbogast and Slowinski

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date

12-1998

Publication Title

Science

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Volume

282

Issue

5396

First page number:

1955

Last page number:

1955

Abstract

In our report, we challenged the conventional notion that a previously defined set of North American songbird (order Passeriformes) species pairs originated as a consequence of being isolated during the last one [100,000 years before the present (B.P.)] or two (250,000 years B.P.) cycles of North American glaciations. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence divergences calculated for 35 such pairs of sister species differed on average by 5.1%. This value is an order of magnitude greater than the amount of divergence expected of species that originated within the last 250,000 years (the Late Pleistocene as we defined it). On this basis, and two other lines of evidence, we rejected the prevailing model of “Late Pleistocene Origins” (LPO) for this particular group of birds. We are gratified that Arbogast and Slowinski's “reanalysis” supports our main conclusion. Even accepting their recalibration, for the moment, 19 of the 21 (90%) species pairs that they examined diverged over 1 million years ago [figure 1 (bottom) of the comment]. There are, however, problems with their analysis.

Keywords

Birds--Speciation; Divergence (Biology); Molecular genetics; Phylogeography; Songbirds

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Molecular Genetics | Ornithology

Language

English

Permissions

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Identifier

DOI: http://ezproxy.library.unlv.edu/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.282.5396.1955a