Redpolls are one species

Discussion about the evolution, relationships, and naming of New Zealand birds
Bobolink
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:17 am

Redpolls are one species

Postby Bobolink » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:28 am

A new paper by Funk, E.R., N.A. Mason, S. Pálsson, T. Albrecht, J.A. Johnson, and S.A. Taylor (2021)
A supergene underlies linked variation in color and morphology in a Holarctic songbird (Redpoll spp.)
Nature Communications 12: 6833
doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27173-z

states that " we find no evidence of genome-wide population genetic structure consistent with current taxonomy. Instead, we provide evidence that the suite of morphological traits used to describe redpoll species differences are linked within the identified supergene. The presence of all possible inversion genotypes suggests there are no lethal supergene combinations and indicate that while these traits are likely involved in local adaptation, they are not involved in reproductive isolation." and "Thus, redpolls appear to function as a single species harboring ecotypic variation, rather than as three distinct species."

This would indicate that there is only one species of Redpoll Acanthis flammea, not the three previously recognised, Common, Lesser and Arctic.

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