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Intraspecific phylogeography of the white-rumped snowfinch (Onychostruthus taczanowskii) endemic to the Tibetan Plateau based on mtDNA sequences


Fu-Min Lei, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China. Tel: +86-10-62562713;
Fax: +86-10-62565689


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.