Ornithology Department, Academy of Natural Sciences 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA.
Ecological niche differentiation in the Aphelocoma jays: a phylogenetic perspective
Article first published online: 3 NOV 2003
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 80, Issue 3, pages 369–383, November 2003
How to Cite
RICE, N. H., MARTÍNEZ-MEYER, E. and PETERSON, A. T. (2003), Ecological niche differentiation in the Aphelocoma jays: a phylogenetic perspective. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 80: 369–383. doi: 10.1046/j.1095-8312.2003.00242.x
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2003
- Article first published online: 3 NOV 2003
- Received 9 November 2002; accepted for publication 3 April 2003
- ecological niche;
- geographical distribution;
- niche evolution;
The Aphelocoma jays have become an important touchstone in behavioural ecology and biogeography – the corpus of studies of this genus makes it an important point of reference. Aphelocoma evolutionary history, nevertheless, has been the subject of two papers reaching opposite conclusions, even though they were based on the same allozyme data set. Herein, we present a second molecular data set – 500 bases of the ND2 gene – and analyse it cladistically to arrive at a new hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships. Recent hypotheses by other investigators of a hybrid origin of Aphelocoma populations are strongly contradicted. The ecological context within which these evolutionary processes are taking place is characterized using new tools for modelling ecological niches of species along a spectrum from humid tropical to dry temperate habitats. Evolutionary patterns of ecological niches are shown to consist of drastic departures from rate-uniformity and ecological niche conservatism. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2003, 80, 369–383.