Pleistocene evolution of closely related sand martins Riparia riparia and R. diluta

Alexandra Pavlova, Robert M. Zink, Sergei V. Drovetski, Sievert Rohwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Climatic fluctuations during the Quaternary resulted in a dynamic history of species' range shifts, fragmentations and expansions. Some of these events left traces in the genetic structures of plants and animals. Recent avian phylogeographic studies demonstrated that Holarctic birds responded idiosyncratically to Pleistocene climate fluctuations. We present phylogeographic analyses of the Holarctic collared sand martin (Riparia riparia) and the Asian pale sand martin (Riparia diluta), which were considered conspecific until recently. Mitochondrial and nuclear sequences confirm species status of the pale sand martin; the two species diverged sometime between late Pliocene and middle Pleistocene, but precise dates could not be provided without calibration of the substitution rate. Within the pale sand martin, we found two mitochondrial clades that are likely to have diverged in the Pleistocene, one from Central Siberia, and the other restricted to Mongolia. The two clades were sympatric with the collared sand martin in Buryatiya and Mongolia, respectively. The mitochondrial gene genealogy and φst analysis of the collared sand martin haplotypes indicate recent, but not ongoing, gene exchange between North America and Eurasia, and restricted gene flow between western and eastern Siberia that likely resulted from historic fragmentation of the species' range during the last glacial maximum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


  • Gene flow
  • Holarctic
  • Phylogeography
  • Population genetics
  • Riparia diluta
  • Riparia riparia
  • Speciation
  • mtDNA

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pleistocene evolution of closely related sand martins Riparia riparia and R. diluta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this