The subalpine warbler Sylvia cantillans is formally considered a polytypic species, with four subspecies, European S. c. cantillans, albistriata, moltonii (recently resumed name: subalpina) and North African S. c. inornata. They are very similar in external morphology but clearly differ in their vocalizations. We evaluated their uncertain taxonomic status reconstructing the phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships among populations sampled across major biogeographical areas in the European species’ range, using nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (mtDNA cyt b). A variety of phylogenetic analyses concordantly led to identify four major groups, only partially corresponding to the three European nominal subspecies. Phylogenetic trees showed a monophyletic group including all moltonii individuals, well diverged from all other taxa. Populations taxonomically assigned to cantillans were polyphyletic being split into two distinct clades (western and southern cantillans), with monophyletic albistriata closely related to southern cantillans. Individuals of moltonii and southern cantillans sampled in sites of sympatry in central Italy were assigned to their respective groups, with perfect concordance between phenotypic and genetic identifications. All findings indicate that moltonii should be ranked as a distinct species. Former subspecies cantillans is polyphyletic, but additional data are needed to define the taxonomic status of its two clades. Albistriata is phylogenetically related to southern cantillans and should be provisionally kept as a subspecies of S. cantillans. The cantillans complex thus provides an interesting case-study illustrating geographical structuring across small geographical ranges, and it exemplifies speciation through differentiation in allopatry leading to reproductive isolation after a secondary contact.
|Titolo:||A molecular phylogeny of the Sylvia cantillans complex: cryptic species within the Mediterranean basin|
|Parole Chiave:||Cytochrome b; Phylogeny; Phylogeography; Speciation; Sylvia cantillans|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|