Convergent evolution of 'creepers' in the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation

Dawn M. Reding, Jeffrey T Foster, Helen F. James, H. Douglas Pratt, Robert C. Fleischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Natural selection plays a fundamental role in the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. A prediction of this theory is the convergent evolution of traits in lineages experiencing similar environments. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are a spectacular example of adaptive radiation and may demonstrate convergence, but uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships within the group has made it difficult to assess such evolutionary patterns. We examine the phylogenetic relationships of the Hawaii creeper (Oreomystis mana), a bird that in a suite of morphological, ecological and behavioural traits closely resembles the Kauai creeper (Oreomystis bairdi), but whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and osteology suggest a relationship with the amakihis (Hemignathus in part) and akepas (Loxops). We analysed nuclear DNA sequence data from 11 relevant honeycreeper taxa and one outgroup to test whether the character contradiction results from historical hybridization and mtDNA introgression, or convergent evolution. We found no evidence of past hybridization, a phenomenon that remains undocumented in Hawaiian honeycreepers, and confirmed mtDNA and osteological evidence that the Hawaii creeper is most closely related to the amakihis and akepas. Thus, the morphological, ecological and behavioural similarities between the evolutionarily distant Hawaii and Kauai creepers represent an extreme example of convergent evolution and demonstrate how natural selection can lead to repeatable evolutionary outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 23 2009

Fingerprint

convergent evolution
Mitochondrial DNA
Hawaii
Kauai
mitochondrial DNA
adaptive radiation
Genetic Selection
Radiation
natural selection
Osteology
hybridization
phylogeny
nuclear genome
introgression
Uncertainty
Birds
uncertainty
nucleotide sequences
prediction
birds

Keywords

  • Adaptive radiation
  • Convergent evolution
  • Ecological convergence
  • Hawaiian honeycreepers
  • Hybridization
  • Mitochondrial DNA introgression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Convergent evolution of 'creepers' in the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation. / Reding, Dawn M.; Foster, Jeffrey T; James, Helen F.; Pratt, H. Douglas; Fleischer, Robert C.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 5, No. 2, 23.04.2009, p. 221-224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reding, Dawn M. ; Foster, Jeffrey T ; James, Helen F. ; Pratt, H. Douglas ; Fleischer, Robert C. / Convergent evolution of 'creepers' in the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation. In: Biology Letters. 2009 ; Vol. 5, No. 2. pp. 221-224.
@article{b1d0186d32f2492693f869d7dbdff73a,
title = "Convergent evolution of 'creepers' in the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation",
abstract = "Natural selection plays a fundamental role in the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. A prediction of this theory is the convergent evolution of traits in lineages experiencing similar environments. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are a spectacular example of adaptive radiation and may demonstrate convergence, but uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships within the group has made it difficult to assess such evolutionary patterns. We examine the phylogenetic relationships of the Hawaii creeper (Oreomystis mana), a bird that in a suite of morphological, ecological and behavioural traits closely resembles the Kauai creeper (Oreomystis bairdi), but whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and osteology suggest a relationship with the amakihis (Hemignathus in part) and akepas (Loxops). We analysed nuclear DNA sequence data from 11 relevant honeycreeper taxa and one outgroup to test whether the character contradiction results from historical hybridization and mtDNA introgression, or convergent evolution. We found no evidence of past hybridization, a phenomenon that remains undocumented in Hawaiian honeycreepers, and confirmed mtDNA and osteological evidence that the Hawaii creeper is most closely related to the amakihis and akepas. Thus, the morphological, ecological and behavioural similarities between the evolutionarily distant Hawaii and Kauai creepers represent an extreme example of convergent evolution and demonstrate how natural selection can lead to repeatable evolutionary outcomes.",
keywords = "Adaptive radiation, Convergent evolution, Ecological convergence, Hawaiian honeycreepers, Hybridization, Mitochondrial DNA introgression",
author = "Reding, {Dawn M.} and Foster, {Jeffrey T} and James, {Helen F.} and Pratt, {H. Douglas} and Fleischer, {Robert C.}",
year = "2009",
month = "4",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2008.0589",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "5",
pages = "221--224",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Convergent evolution of 'creepers' in the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation

AU - Reding, Dawn M.

AU - Foster, Jeffrey T

AU - James, Helen F.

AU - Pratt, H. Douglas

AU - Fleischer, Robert C.

PY - 2009/4/23

Y1 - 2009/4/23

N2 - Natural selection plays a fundamental role in the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. A prediction of this theory is the convergent evolution of traits in lineages experiencing similar environments. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are a spectacular example of adaptive radiation and may demonstrate convergence, but uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships within the group has made it difficult to assess such evolutionary patterns. We examine the phylogenetic relationships of the Hawaii creeper (Oreomystis mana), a bird that in a suite of morphological, ecological and behavioural traits closely resembles the Kauai creeper (Oreomystis bairdi), but whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and osteology suggest a relationship with the amakihis (Hemignathus in part) and akepas (Loxops). We analysed nuclear DNA sequence data from 11 relevant honeycreeper taxa and one outgroup to test whether the character contradiction results from historical hybridization and mtDNA introgression, or convergent evolution. We found no evidence of past hybridization, a phenomenon that remains undocumented in Hawaiian honeycreepers, and confirmed mtDNA and osteological evidence that the Hawaii creeper is most closely related to the amakihis and akepas. Thus, the morphological, ecological and behavioural similarities between the evolutionarily distant Hawaii and Kauai creepers represent an extreme example of convergent evolution and demonstrate how natural selection can lead to repeatable evolutionary outcomes.

AB - Natural selection plays a fundamental role in the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. A prediction of this theory is the convergent evolution of traits in lineages experiencing similar environments. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are a spectacular example of adaptive radiation and may demonstrate convergence, but uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships within the group has made it difficult to assess such evolutionary patterns. We examine the phylogenetic relationships of the Hawaii creeper (Oreomystis mana), a bird that in a suite of morphological, ecological and behavioural traits closely resembles the Kauai creeper (Oreomystis bairdi), but whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and osteology suggest a relationship with the amakihis (Hemignathus in part) and akepas (Loxops). We analysed nuclear DNA sequence data from 11 relevant honeycreeper taxa and one outgroup to test whether the character contradiction results from historical hybridization and mtDNA introgression, or convergent evolution. We found no evidence of past hybridization, a phenomenon that remains undocumented in Hawaiian honeycreepers, and confirmed mtDNA and osteological evidence that the Hawaii creeper is most closely related to the amakihis and akepas. Thus, the morphological, ecological and behavioural similarities between the evolutionarily distant Hawaii and Kauai creepers represent an extreme example of convergent evolution and demonstrate how natural selection can lead to repeatable evolutionary outcomes.

KW - Adaptive radiation

KW - Convergent evolution

KW - Ecological convergence

KW - Hawaiian honeycreepers

KW - Hybridization

KW - Mitochondrial DNA introgression

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=65349104564&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=65349104564&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0589

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0589

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 221

EP - 224

JO - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 2

ER -