Title

Molecular phylogenetic analysis of an endangered Mexican sparrow: Spizella wortheni

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2010

Publication Title

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

57

Issue

3

First page number:

1319

Last page number:

1322

Abstract

The Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni) is an endemic bird species of the Mexican Plateau that is protected by Mexican law. Considering its limited range (25 km2), small population size (100–120 individuals), and declining population, it is one of the most endangered avian species in North America. Although it has been assumed to be the sister taxon of the Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla), the systematic and evolutionary relationships of Worthen’s Sparrow have never been tested using modern molecular phylogenetic methods. We addressed the molecular phylogeny of S. wortheni analyzing six mitochondrial genes (3571 bp) from all of the natural members of the genus Spizella. Our maximum likelihood and Bayeasian analysis indicate that despite the superficial similarity, S. wortheni is not the sister taxon of S. pusilla, but is instead most closely related to the Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri). Also new insights about the phylogenetics relationships of the Spizella genera are presented.

Keywords

Bird populations; Endangered species; Phylogeny; Spizella; Worthen’s Sparrow

Disciplines

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/10.1016/j.ympev.2010.08.009