University of Oulu

Phylogeny and phylogeography of European Parids

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Author: Kvist, Laura1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2000
Publish Date: 2000-01-28
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB 210), on March 3rd, 2000, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Trevor Price
Professor Robert Zink


Mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to study the phylogeny, population structure and colonisation history of Parus species.

The phylogenetic relationships of seven European and three American species were examined by sequencing a part of the cytochrome b gene. Phylogenetically the closest species were the great tit (Parus major) and the blue tit (P. caeruleus). Subgenus Poecile was divided into two clades, one consisting of the Siberian tit (P. cinctus), the Carolina chickadee (P. carolinensis) and the Black-capped chickadee (P. atricapillus) and the other consisting of the marsh tit (P. palustris) and the willow tit (P. montanus). The coal tit (P. ater) and the crested tit (P. cristatus) did not group with any of the species studied.

The population structure and the colonisation history of the willow tit, the great tit and the blue tit were examined by using control region sequences. The results suggest that the historical effective population size in the willow tit has been large and not contracted by the last ice age. Current gene flow must also be extensive as no population structuring was detected.

No population structuring was evident either in the great tit and the populations showed distinctive signs of a recent population expansion. The patterns of genetic variation probably reflect a population bottleneck during the ice age, and a recolonisation of the European continent thereafter, presumably from a refugium situated in the Balkans.

Two maternal lineages were found in the blue tit. The southern lineage was restricted to the Iberian peninsula whereas the northern lineage was detected from all the populations. The colonisation history has been similar to the one suggested for the great tit. The southern lineage, however, may have survived the ice age in a different refugium in the Iberian peninsula and was not as successful as the northern lineage in colonising available regions when the ice retreated. Both, the blue tit and the great tit have continued to expand their distribution northwards during this century and gene flow plays an important role in homogenising the populations.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-5536-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-5535-6
Issue: 341
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2000. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.