A previously published phylogeographic analysis of mtDNA sequences from the widespread Palearctic common rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) suggested the existence of three recently diverged groups, corresponding to the Caucasus, central-western Eurasia, and northeastern Eurasia. We re-evaluated the mtDNA data using coalescence methods and added sequence data from a sex-linked gene. The mtDNA gene tree and SAMOVA supported the distinctiveness of the Caucasian group but not the other two groups. However, UPGMA clustering of mtDNA ΦST-values among populations recovered the three groups. The sex-linked gene tree recovered no phylogeographic signal, which was attributed to recent divergence and insufficient time for sorting of alleles. Overall, coalescence methods indicated a lack of gene flow among the three groups, and population expansion in the central-western and northeastern Eurasia groups. These three groups corresponded to named subspecies, further supporting their validity. A species distribution model revealed potential refugia at the Last Glacial Maximum. These three groups, which we hypothesized are in the early stages of speciation, provided an opportunity for testing tenets of ecological speciation. We showed that the early stages of speciation were not accompanied by ecological niche divergence, consistent with other avian studies.
- Niche divergence
- Species distribution model