Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of Neotropical tanagers in the genus Tangara.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Sep; 32(3):838-54.MP
Species in the genus Tangara are distributed throughout the New World tropics and vary in their morphology, behavior, and ecology. We used data from the cytochrome b and ND 2 genes to provide the first phylogenetic perspective on the evolution of this diversity. Reconstructions based on parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian approaches were largely congruent. The genus is monophyletic and consists of two main clades. Within these clades, DNA sequence data confirm the monophyly of most previously recognized species groups within Tangara, indicating general concordance between molecular data and impressions based on geographic distribution, morphology, and behavior. Within some currently recognized species, levels of DNA sequence variation are larger than expected, suggesting multiple taxa may be involved. In contrast, some currently recognized species are only weakly differentiated from their sister species. Biogeographic analyses indicate that many early speciation events occurred in the Andes. More recently, dispersal events followed by subsequent speciation have occurred in other geographic areas of the Neotropics. Assuming a molecular clock, most speciation events occurred well before Pleistocene climatic cycles. The time frame of Tangara speciation corresponds more closely to a period of continued uplift in the Andes during the late Miocene and Pliocene.