Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Australian Bird Research Could Rewrite 'Ring Theory' Of Speciation

Date:
August 4, 2008
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
New research has uncovered how different populations of the bird crimson rosella are related to each other -- a discovery which has important implications for research into how climate change may affect Australia's biodiversity.

A crimson rosella.
Credit: Mathew Berg, Deakin University

New research has uncovered how different populations of the bird crimson rosella are related to each other – a discovery which has important implications for research into how climate change may affect Australia’s biodiversity.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the research investigates the genetic and geographical relationships between different forms of crimson rosellas and the possible ways that these forms may have arisen.

Dr. Gaynor Dolman of CSIRO’s Australian National Wildlife Collection says there are three main colour ‘forms’ of the crimson rosella – crimson, yellow and orange – which originated from the same ancestral population and are now distributed throughout south eastern Australia.

“Many evolutionary biologists have argued that the different forms of crimson rosellas arose, or speciated, through ‘ring speciation’,” she says.

The ring speciation hypothesis predicts that a species that spreads to new areas may eventually join back up with itself, forming a ring. By that time, the populations at the join in the ring may be two distinct species and unable to interbreed, despite continuous gene flow, or interbreeding, between populations around the ring.

“We found that in the case of crimson rosellas, their three separate genetic groups don’t show a simple link to the geographical distribution of the colour forms,” Dr Dolman says.

“For example, orange Adelaide and crimson Kangaroo Island rosellas are separated by 15km of ocean but are genetically similar. Conversely, genetic dissimilarity was found in the geographically linked yellow and orange populations in inland south eastern Australia. We rejected the ring hypothesis because it predicts only one region of genetic dissimilarity, which should occur at the geographical location of the join in the ring, around the headwaters of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. However, it is possible that crimson rosellas formed a ring at some stage in their evolutionary history, but that the evidence has been lost through climatic or environmental changes,” she says.

Wildlife genetic research of this kind is increasing our understanding of the biogeography and evolution of Australia’s terrestrial vertebrates, helping Australia sustainably manage its biodiversity and ecosystem functions in the face of land use and climate change.

This work involved a team of researchers from CSIRO, Deakin University and the South Australian Museum.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Australian Bird Research Could Rewrite 'Ring Theory' Of Speciation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140317.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2008, August 4). Australian Bird Research Could Rewrite 'Ring Theory' Of Speciation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140317.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Australian Bird Research Could Rewrite 'Ring Theory' Of Speciation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140317.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins