B.M. is a postdoctoral researcher currently at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid, Spain, whose research focuses on mechanisms of population divergence and speciation in birds and other vertebrates by means of various approaches, including phylogeography, population genetics and ecomorphology. R.K.W. is a professor at UCLA‘s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, interested in applying molecular genetic techniques to address questions in population genetics, systematics, genomics and conservation genetics of vertebrates. P.F. is researcher at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, where he focuses on behavioural ecology, population genetics and phylogeography of reptiles and birds. T.B.S. is a professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the director of the Center for Tropical Research at UCLA. He is interested in evolutionary genetics and ecology, and his research focuses on speciation mechanism, migratory connectivity, bird-parasite interactions and the conservation of tropical vertebrates.
Divergence with gene flow and fine-scale phylogeographical structure in the wedge-billed woodcreeper, Glyphorynchus spirurus, a Neotropical rainforest bird
Article first published online: 15 JUN 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 18, Issue 14, pages 2979–2995, July 2009
How to Cite
MILÁ, B., WAYNE, R. K., FITZE, P. and SMITH, T. B. (2009), Divergence with gene flow and fine-scale phylogeographical structure in the wedge-billed woodcreeper, Glyphorynchus spirurus, a Neotropical rainforest bird. Molecular Ecology, 18: 2979–2995. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04251.x
- Issue published online: 29 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 15 JUN 2009
- Received 25 October 2008; revision received 7 April 2009; accepted 9 April 2009
- adaptive divergence;
- altitudinal gradient;
- gene flow;
Determining the relative roles of vicariance and selection in restricting gene flow between populations is of central importance to the evolutionary process of population divergence and speciation. Here we use molecular and morphological data to contrast the effect of isolation (by mountains and geographical distance) with that of ecological factors (altitudinal gradients) in promoting differentiation in the wedge-billed woodcreeper, Glyphorynchus spirurus, a tropical forest bird, in Ecuador. Tarsus length and beak size increased relative to body size with altitude on both sides of the Andes, and were correlated with the amount of moss on tree trunks, suggesting the role of selection in driving adaptive divergence. In contrast, molecular data revealed a considerable degree of admixture along these altitudinal gradients, suggesting that adaptive divergence in morphological traits has occurred in the presence of gene flow. As suggested by mitochondrial DNA sequence data, the Andes act as a barrier to gene flow between ancient subspecific lineages. Genome-wide amplified fragment length polymorphism markers reflected more recent patterns of gene flow and revealed fine-scale patterns of population differentiation that were not detectable with mitochondrial DNA, including the differentiation of isolated coastal populations west of the Andes. Our results support the predominant role of geographical isolation in driving genetic differentiation in G. spirurus, yet suggest the role of selection in driving parallel morphological divergence along ecological gradients.