The phylogenetic relationships of Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii illustrated by DNA sequence data, with remarks on the genetic distance between Rock and Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1996
Authors:Arctander, P, FOLMER, OLE, Fjeldsa, J
Date Published:1996
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Agrodroma, Agrodroma campestris, Anthus, Anthus berthelotii, Anthus campestris, Anthus cervina, Anthus cervinus, Anthus novaeseelandiae, Anthus petrosus, Anthus pratensis, Anthus richardi, Anthus rubescens, Anthus spinoletta, Anthus trivialis, Corydalla, Corydalla richardi, Motacilla, Motacilla alba, Motacillidae, Pipastes, Pipastes petrosus, Pipastes spinoletta, Pipastes trivialis
Abstract:The phylogenetic relationships of Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii, which is endemic to three groups of North Atlantic islands, have puzzled ornithologists for more than a century. A total of 1041 base pair cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequences from Berthelot's Pipit are compared with homologous sequences from the Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae, the Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis, the Red-breasted Pipit Anthus cervinus, the Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis, Rock and Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta and the White Wagtail Motacilla alba. In the resulting phytogeny, the sister taxon of Berthelot's Pipit is unambiguously the Tawny Pipit, with Richard's Pipit forming a deeper branch on the same clade. Sequences of a Danish Rock Pipit and a Swiss Water Pipit support a close relationship between these two species, but more comprehensive studies of intra- and interpopulation variation are required before considering their taxonomic ranking. Some preliminary inferences are made regarding phylogenetic tendencies in the genus Anthus.
Short Title:Ibis
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