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Complete species-level phylogeny of the leaf warbler (Aves: Phylloscopidae) radiation

Journal article
Authors P. Alstrom
F. E. Rheindt
R. Y. Zhang
M. Zhao
J. Wang
X. J. Zhu
C. Y. Gwee
Y. Hao
J. Ohlson
C. X. Jia
D. M. Prawiradilaga
P. G. P. Ericson
F. M. Lei
Urban Olsson
Published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume 126
Pages 141-152
ISSN 1055-7903
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 141-152
Language en
Keywords Species tree, Concatenation, Taxonomic revision, dna-sequence data, avian superfamily sylvioidea, golden-spectacled, warbler, mitochondrial-dna, genus phylloscopus, arctic warbler, multilocus phylogeny, genetic differentiation, molecular systematics, bayesian-inference, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics &, Heredity, ates of america, v104, p5936
Subject categories Biological Sciences


The leaf warbler radiation (Aves: Phylloscopidae) has undergone a c. 50% increase in the number of recognised species over the last three decades, mainly as a result of analyses of vocalisations and DNA. Using a multilocus dataset for all of the species in this family, and multispecies coalescent-based as well as concatenation methods, we provide the first complete species-level phylogeny for this important group, as well as an estimate of the timing of diversification. The most recent common ancestor for the family was dated at 11.7 million years ago (mya) (95% highest posterior density 9.8-13.7 mya), and divergence times between sister species ranged from 0.5 mya (0.3-0.8 mya) to 6.1 mya (4.8-7.5 mya). Based on our results, we support synonymising Seicercus with Phylloscopus, which results in a monogeneric Phylloscopidae. We discuss the pros and cons of this treatment, and we argue against proliferation of taxonomic names, and conclude that a large monogeneric Phylloscopidae leads to the fewest taxonomic changes compared to traditional classifications. We briefly discuss morphological evolution in the light of the phylogeny. The time calibrated phylogeny is a major improvement compared to previous studies based on a smaller number of species and loci and can provide a basis for future studies of other aspects of phylloscopid evolution.

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