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New article in J. Evol. Biol. 21(4)

Subject: New article in J. Evol. Biol. 21(4)
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 12:23:17 +0200
C. DINGLE, W. HALFWERK and H. SLABBEKOORN (2008) Habitat-dependent song
divergence at subspecies level in the grey-breasted wood-wren 
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21 (4) , 1079-1089.

Abstract: Song divergence among populations can theoretically lead to
reproductive divergence and speciation. Despite many studies, this theory is
still controversial. Habitat differences have been shown to shape songs, but
few studies have looked for a link between ecologically driven acoustic and
genetic divergence. We tested whether environmental selection has driven
song divergence in two genetically distinct, but hybridizing, subspecies of
the grey-breasted wood-wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) in Ecuador. Several
acoustic features showed significant divergence between the subspecies.
Spectral song divergence correlated with ambient noise profiles which
differed significantly between the habitats of both subspecies. Temporal
song divergence also corresponded as expected to vegetation density.
However, in terms of quantified levels of reverberations, we found no
significant differences in habitat-dependent sound transmission properties.
We conclude that ecological niche segregation may explain acoustic
divergence among the two wren subspecies. The resulting habitat-dependent
song divergence may have contributed to reproductive divergence by guiding
assortative mating in parapatric conditions or just currently contribute to
maintenance of reproductive isolation upon secondary contact.

For reprints please contact Caroline Dingle (e-mail: 

Kind regards


Dr. Sonja Amoser
Daringergasse 3
1190 Wien

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