Abstracts (first author)
Resolving species trees and rewriting taxonomy: Using next-gen sequencing data to unravel a recent radiation of a passerine bird on an island system
Resolving species trees for island populations is challenging due to high complexity of demographic factors. We have analysed RAD tag SNPs from African Blue Tit (Cyanistes teneriffae) populations on the Canary Islands and from the mainland Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), applying only tools that do not rely on concatenation of loci. Our data provide resolution where earlier reports have been unsuccessful, and strongly indicate that the population on La Palma (C. t. palmensis) represent a recent colonization from mainland Europe while the other Canary Islands were colonized from Morocco, which seems to be the oldest population in our system. Sperm collected from these birds was used to test the hypothesis that divergence in sperm length mirrors genetic divergence, which held true against both SNPs and the mitochondrial COI marker. Our sperm data supports the phylogenetic division between C. caeruleus and C. teneriffae, and also C. t. palmensis as sister to mainland Europe. We conclude that recent advances in analytical tools make short-read sequencing technology a powerful option for phylogenetic analyses. Lastly we suggest that the taxonomy of C. t. palmensis be revised.