• Areas of endemism;
  • Atlantic Forest;
  • biogeography;
  • Brazil;
  • evolution;
  • Neotropics;
  • passerine birds;
  • phylogeny


Aim  To use the method of parsimony analysis of endemism to identify areas of endemism for passerine birds in the Atlantic Forest, South America, and to compare the locations of these areas with areas previously identified for birds as well as other taxa.

Location  The Atlantic Forest, eastern South America.

Methods  We analysed a matrix composed of the presence (1) or absence (0) of 140 endemic species in 24 quadrats of 1 × 1 degree distributed along the Atlantic Forest to find the most parsimonious area cladogram.

Results  Fourteen most parsimonious cladograms were found and then summarized in a single consensus tree. Four areas of endemism were identified: Pernambuco, Central Bahia, Coastal Bahia, and Serra do Mar.

Main conclusions  Avian areas of endemism in the Atlantic Forest have significant generality, as they are highly nonrandom and congruent with those of other groups of organisms. A first hypothesis about the historical relationships among the four areas of avian endemism in the Atlantic Forest is delineated. There is a basal dichotomy among areas of endemism in the Atlantic Forest, with Pernambuco forming a northern cluster and Coastal Bahia, Central Bahia and Serra do Mar comprising a southern cluster. Within the southern cluster, Central Bahia and Serra do Mar are more closely related to each other than to Coastal Bahia.