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Andean uplift promotes lowland speciation through vicariance and dispersal in Dendrocincla woodcreepers

Authors

  • JASON T. WEIR,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada M1C 1A4
    2. Department of Ecology and Evolution Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G5
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  • MOMOKO PRICE

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada M1C 1A4
    2. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
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Jason T. Weir, Fax: 416 287 7676; E-mail: jason.weir@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Andean uplift contributed importantly to the build-up of high Neotropical diversity. Final uplift of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia separated once-contiguous lowland faunas east and west of the Andes between 5 and 3.5 million years ago (Ma hereafter). We used DNA sequences from several moderate- to fast-evolving mitochondrial and two slow-evolving nuclear genes to generate a well-supported phylogeny of Dendrocincla woodcreepers, a genus with multiple species endemic to lowland regions both east and west of the Andes. A time-calibrated phylogeny and dispersal–vicariance analysis indicated that uplift of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia resulted in the initial vicariant separation of a widespread lowland form east and west of the Andes at c. 3.6 Ma. This was followed by two separate east-to-west dispersal events over or around the completed Andes, each producing a genetically distinct lineage. Our analysis suggests that Andean uplift promoted the build-up of biodiversity in lowland Neotropical faunas both through vicariance-based speciation during uplift and through dispersal-based speciation following uplift. In contrast to the multiple colonizations of the trans-Andean region by Dendrocincla, the Atlantic Forest was colonized from the Amazon only once, followed by in situ diversification.

Ancillary