Initial assessment of genetic diversity in ten bird species of South American Cerrado

John M. Bates, Jose G. Tello, Jose Maria Cardoso Da Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences of portions of the cytochrome b (cyt b) and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) genes from samples of ten bird species that occur in both extremes of the Cerrado region (eastern Bolivia and Amapá, Brazil). The species include a wide sampling of taxa from several avian families: Tinamidae (1), Apodidae (1), Dendrocolaptidae (1), Furnariidae (1), Thamnophilidae (1), Tyrannidae (1), Turdidae (1), and Emberizidae (3). The taxa also exhibit a variety of distribution patterns in Neotropical open lands. Levels of genetic divergence within all taxa were low compared to comparable intraspecific values in many other widespread birds. In particular, these data suggest that there is much less genetic differentiation within these Cerrado birds than exists in birds of neighboring Amazonian forest. We suggest this implies the non-mutually exclusive possibilities that these open country birds have maintained higher levels of gene flow than forest understory birds, and that the Cerrado may have expanded to parts of its present-day distribution fairly rapidly. These data also suggest that hypothesized forest connections between Amazonia and Atlantic forest did not isolate open country bird populations from one another to a great extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalStudies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogeography
  • Birds
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cerrado
  • Genetic diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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