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Origins of diversity in neotropical forests: relating spatial and temporal patterns of diversification in birds with the history of the South American continent


Several studies on historical biogeography have shown an important correlation between Earth history and biological diversification. In the Neotopical region it is still not clear which Earth history events would have influenced the origins of the high diversity seen today. The Refugia theory was the first to try to mechanistically relate the history of the South American continent to the origins of biological diversity. This has initiated a long-standing debate that has shown that Neotropical diversification has complex causes. The use of molecular data to infer phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic patterns, and the association of these results to the morphological and geographical patterns, has caused recent changes in the way diversification patterns and historical biogeography are studied, with the development of new methodological approaches. In addition to these changes, there has been a recent increase in the understanding of South American geological history. Birds are one of the better-known groups in terms of the geographical structure of the morphological diversity, and has been one of the most studied groups in molecular phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyzes. Despite the large amount of data that has been generated recently, few studies have a proper geographical sampling, and no general synthesis has yet been developed. The objective of the present project is to understand the relationships between patterns of diversification in birds and the geological history of the Neotropical region, with an emphasis on the forest regions, especially the Amazon forest. These results will help clarify the mechanisms that control the origin of diversity, allowing an understanding of the origins of patterns that are being quickly erased by the destruction of the forests. This knowledge has important implications both theoretical, in elucidating the mechanisms that determine the origins and organization of biological diversity, and practical, in characterizing the diversification process and identifying important regions for conservation of this diversity. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RIBAS, CAMILA C.; ALEIXO, ALEXANDRE; GUBILI, CHRYSOULA; D'HORTA, FERNANDO M.; BRUMFIELD, ROBB T.; CRACRAFT, JOEL. Biogeography and diversification of Rhegmatorhina (Aves: Thamnophilidae): Implications for the evolution of Amazonian landscapes during the Quaternary. Journal of Biogeography, v. 45, n. 4, p. 917-928, APR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 10.

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