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Keywords:

  • snowfinch;
  • genetic diversity;
  • population expansion;
  • glaciations;
  • Tibetan Plateau

Abstract

Variation of the mitochondrial control region segment was analyzed from white-rumped snowfinch Onychostruthus taczanowskii through its Tibetan Plateau distribution range. Very low genetic diversity (0.117%) and no differentiation were found between geographic groups. This may be because of a combination of several ecological and historical factors, including lack of geographical barriers and a relatively homogenic habitat through the plateau, high gene flow and a relatively fast population expansion from a very small population size. The genetic diversity of its closely related codistributed species, the red-necked snowfinch Pyrgilauda ruficollis, was much higher, possibly as a result of expansion from different population size and glacial refugia.