Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 156, Supplement 1, pp 355–365 | Cite as

Evolutionary history of passerine birds (Aves: Passeriformes) from the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau: from a pre-Quarternary perspective to an integrative biodiversity assessment

  • Martin Päckert
  • Jochen Martens
  • Yue-Hua Sun
  • Dieter Thomas Tietze
Review

Abstract

As one of the most prominent topographical features on Earth, the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau (QTP) underwent a long and complex history of the QTP uplift from the collision of the Indian and the Eurasian plates to the present. At its southern and southeastern margins, it is flanked by the most significant hotspots of organismic diversity of the northern hemisphere (including birds), the Sino-Himalayan mountain forests. In contrast, the central plateau region itself harbours species-poor communities but also a good number of endemics that presumably evolved from rather ancient (pre-Pleistocene) phylogenetic lineage splits. We discuss the evolutionary history of QTP passerines from a twofold perspective including examples from our own research. First, we provide an overview of those alpine QTP endemics that represent late Miocene and Pliocene lineage splits, i.e. early colonisations to the central alpine QTP region. As an example, true rosefinches (genus Carpodacus) presumably evolved from a forested eastern QTP centre of origin and colonised the (semi-)open plateau habitats several times independently. Second, we discuss younger speciation events corresponding to phylogeographic east–west divides along the southern QTP margin. A multidisciplinary approach combining genetic, bioacoustic and morphological markers shed new light on the phylogenetic relationships of Pnoepyga wren babblers and on the intraspecific subdivision of the Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher).

Keywords

Qinghai–Tibetan plateau Passeriformes Sino-Himalayas Alpine habitats Carpodacus 

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Päckert
    • 1
  • Jochen Martens
    • 2
  • Yue-Hua Sun
    • 3
  • Dieter Thomas Tietze
    • 4
  1. 1.Senckenberg Natural History CollectionsMuseum of ZoologyDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für ZoologieJohannes Gutenberg-UniversitätMainzGermany
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular BiotechnologyHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

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