Drivers of phylogenetic assemblage structure of the furnariides, a widespread clade of lowland neotropical birds

Jesus N Pinto Ledezma, Alex E. Jahn, Víctor R. Cueto, José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho, Fabricio Villalobos

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3 Scopus citations


Species co-occurrence in local assemblages is shaped by distinct processes at different spatial and temporal scales. Here we focus on historical explanations and examine the phylogenetic structure of local assemblages of the Furnariides clade (Aves: Passeri-formes), assessing the influence of diversification rates on the assembly and species co-occurrence within those assemblages. Using 120 local assemblages across Bolivia and Argentina and a nearly complete phylogeny for the clade, we analyzed assemblage phylogenetic structure, applying a recently developed model (DAMOCLES, or dynamic assembly model of colonization, local extinction, and specia-tion) accounting for the historical processes of speciation, colonization, and local extinction. We also evaluated how diversification rates determine species co-occurrence. We found that the assembly of Furnariides assemblages can be explained largely by speciation, colonization, and local extinction without invoking current local species interactions. Phylogenetic structure of open habitat assemblages mainly showed clustering, characterized by faster rates of colonization and local extinction than in forest habitats, whereas forest habitat assemblages were congruent with the model’s equal rates expectation, thus highlighting the influence of habitat preferences on assembly and co-occurrence patterns. Our results suggest that historical processes are sufficient to explain local assemblage phylogenetic structure, while there is little evidence for species ecological interactions in avian assemblage diversity and composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#58049
Pages (from-to)E41-E56
JournalThe American naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Lucas Jardim for all the discussions on community phylogenetics. We also thank Adri?n Di Giacomo and Miguel ?ngel Aponte for helping us with the bibliographic data sets and Miguel Montenegro for his help in fieldwork. We thank Daniel I. Bolnick, Mathew A. Leibold, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments that greatly improved our article. J.N.P.-L. thanks Jeannine Cavender-Bares for helpful comments and additions in the last version of the manuscript. Work by J.N.P.-L. was supported by a Coordena??o de Aperfei?oamento de Pessoal de N?vel Superior PhD fellowship. F.V. was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cient?fico e Tecnol?gico (CNPq) P?s-Doutorado Junior and Atra??o de Jovens Talentos Science without Borders grants and the Instituto de Ecolog?a. J.A.F.D.-F. has been continuously supported by productivity grants from CNPq. Our projects in macroecology and community phylogenetics are now developed as part of the National Institutes for Science and Technology in Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity Conservation, supported by the Minist?rio da Ci?ncia, Tecnologia, Inova??es, e Comunica??es/CNPq (grant 465610/2014-5) and the Funda??o de Amparo ? Pesquisa do Estado de Goi?s.

Funding Information:
1. Programa da Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás 74.690-900, Brazil; and Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, 1479 Gortner Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108; 2. Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, CP 131, Goiânia, Goiás 74001, Brazil; 3. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20008; 4. Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, and Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Esquel, Chubut 9200, Argentina; 5. Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Red de Biología Evolutiva, Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, 91070 Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The University of Chicago.


  • Assembly processes
  • Community phylogenetics
  • Historical processes
  • Passerine birds
  • Species assemblage

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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