The formation of the Indo-Pacific montane avifauna.

Reeve AH, Kennedy JD, Pujolar JM, Petersen B, Blom MPK, Alström P, Haryoko T, Ericson PGP, Irestedt M, Nylander JAA, Jønsson KA

Nat Commun 14 (1) 8215 [2023-12-11; online 2023-12-11]

The processes generating the earth's montane biodiversity remain a matter of debate. Two contrasting hypotheses have been advanced to explain how montane populations form: via direct colonization from other mountains, or, alternatively, via upslope range shifts from adjacent lowland areas. We seek to reconcile these apparently conflicting hypotheses by asking whether a species' ancestral geographic origin determines its mode of mountain colonization. Island-dwelling passerine birds at the faunal crossroads between Eurasia and Australo-Papua provide an ideal study system. We recover the phylogenetic relationships of the region's montane species and reconstruct their ancestral geographic ranges, elevational ranges, and migratory behavior. We also perform genomic population studies of three super-dispersive montane species/clades with broad island distributions. Eurasian-origin species populated archipelagos via direct colonization between mountains. This mode of colonization appears related to ancestral adaptations to cold and seasonal climates, specifically short-distance migration. Australo-Papuan-origin mountain populations, by contrast, evolved from lowland ancestors, and highland distribution mostly precludes their further colonization of island mountains. Our study explains much of the distributional variation within a complex biological system, and provides a synthesis of two seemingly discordant hypotheses for montane community formation.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

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PubMed 38081809

DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-43964-y

Crossref 10.1038/s41467-023-43964-y

pmc: PMC10713610
pii: 10.1038/s41467-023-43964-y

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