Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Robb T Brumfield, Angelo P Capparella


Studies of South American biodiversity have identified several areas of endemism that may have enhanced historical diversification of South American organisms. Hypotheses concerning the derivation of birds in the Chocó area of endemism in northwestern South America were evaluated using protein electrophoretic data from 14 taxonomically diverse species groups of birds. Nine of these groups demonstrated that the Chocó area of endemism has a closer historical relationship to Central America than to Amazonia, a result that is consistent with phytogeographic evidence. Within species groups, genetic distances between cis-Andean (east of the Andes) and trans-Andean (west of the Andes) taxa are, on average, roughly twice that between Chocó and Central American taxa. The genetic data are consistent with the hypotheses that the divergence of most cis-Andean and trans-Andean taxa was the result of either the Andean uplift fragmenting a once continuous Amazonian-Pacific population (Andean Uplift Hypothesis), the isolation of the two faunas in forest refugia on opposite sides of the Andes during arid climates (Forest Refugia Hypothesis), or dispersal of Amazonian forms directly across the Andes into the trans-Andean region (Across-Andes Dis...Continue Reading


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