Phylogeographic patterns in Motacilla flava and Motacilla citreola: species limits and population history

Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava) Science Article 1


We conducted phylogeographic analyses of Motacilla fl ava (Yellow Wagtail) andM. citreola (Citrine Wagtail). We analyzed mitochondrial DNA sequences from 167 M. fl avaspecimens obtained from 17 localities throughout Eurasia and Alaska, and 38 specimens of M.citreola obtained from 7 Eurasian localities. Phylogenetic analysis revealed three clades withintraditionally recognized M. fl ava: Europe and southwestern Asia, northeastern Eurasia, andsoutheastern Asia. Those groups should be considered species, because together they are notmonophyletic, and are interspersed with M. citreola, M. cinerea, and M. alba. Motacilla citreolaalso is paraphyletic, consisting of two species-level groups. Northeastern and southeasterngroups of M. fl ava each appear to be sister taxa to eastern and western groups of M. citreola,respectively. Together those four groups form a clade, whereas the western M. fl ava group isconsiderably more distant. Within each of the three groups of M. fl ava, and the two groups ofM. citreola, little phylogeographic structure was detected. Signatures of past population expansionare evident for some populations of M. fl ava; expansion is more recent in Moscow, Kursk(western group), Yamal, and Anabar (northeastern group), and older in Tyva and Vyatka(western group). A history of population stability is inferred for the Yamal population of M.citreola. Nested-clade analyses detected contiguous range expansion for southeastern M. fl avaand restricted gene fl ow with isolation by distance for northeastern M. fl ava and eastern M.citreola.

Alexandra Pavlova, Robert M. Zink, Sergei V. Drovetski, Yaroslav Redkin, and Sievert Rohwer, The Auk 120(3):744-758, 2003

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