Master of Science (MS)
First Committee Member
Brett R. Riddle
Number of Pages
Study of Neotropical avian biodiversity have generally been focused on South American taxa. As a result, the contribution of Central America to overall Neotropical diversity remains under-studied. The Great American Interchange (GAI) between North and South America is a biogeographic event known to impact biodiversity throughout the Neotropics, linking the evolutionary history of these land masses. Here I show that genetic diversity in the well-known and widespread Neotropical avian genus Trogon greatly exceeds previously recognized biodiversity in this group. Results also invoke a Central American center of origin for the genus, with multiple independent dispersals into and subsequent diversification within South America. This has created non-monophyly in the current taxonomy, which has been masked by the use of misleading plumage characters in historical classification of the genus. Recovered patterns can be used in comparative studies with other Neotropical groups, providing insights into the evolutionary past of this diversity rich region.
Avian; Diversification; Exploring; Genus; Molecular; Neotropical; Patterns; Phylogenetics; Trogon; Widespread
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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DaCosta, Jeffrey M, "Molecular phylogenetics of Trogon: Exploring patterns of diversification in a widespread neotropical avian genus" (2006). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2047.