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Comparative phylogeography of passerine birds with circum-Amazonian distribution

Grant number: 15/16092-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Sergio David Bolívar Leguizamón
Home Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

There is a number of common distributional patterns that have provided the foundations of our current knowledge of Neotropical biogeography. A distinctive pattern is the so-called "circum-Amazonian distribution", which expands across the forested lowlands south and east of Amazonia, the Andean foothills, the Venezuelan Coastal Range, and the Tepuis. To date, there is no clear understanding of the processes giving rise to this distribution. To understand the evolutionary history of taxa exhibiting this pattern it is necessary to explicitly test biogeographic hypotheses offering mechanistic explanations (e.g., vicariance, dispersal). Comparative genomics will allow more accurate phylogeographic hypotheses for these taxa, as well as better population genetic parameters. Comprehensive comparative studies aiming at unraveling the evolutionary and biogeographic mechanisms underlying the circum-Amazonian distribution have not been conducted yet, and only scarce descriptive information has been published. Therefore, the fundamental objective of this project will be to elucidate the historical and biogeographic mechanisms underpinning circum-Amazonian distribution by performing comparative genomic analyses of a group of Suboscine passerines. Ultraconserved Elements (UCEs) will be obtained to estimate population parameters and genealogical trees for each taxon. Comparative analyses will be performed to test previously proposed biogeographic hypotheses for the Neotropics and to propose plausible biogeographical scenarios for the circum-Amazonian pattern. The results from this study will not only provide insights into the evolutionary history of the study taxa and the underlying biogeographic mechanisms for the circum-Amazonian region, but also will provide grounds for further research on other taxa with circum-Amazonian distribution. (AU)