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Integrative taxonomy of two highly polytypic thamnophilids (Aves: Thamnophilidae)

Grant number: 21/10339-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): January 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Rafael Dantas Lima
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recovering and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/13077-0 - Integrative taxonomy of two highly polytypic thamnophilids (Aves: Thamnophilidae), BE.EP.MS


Species is a fundamental category of biological organization and, therefore, accurate species delimitation is crucial for all areas of biology. Current taxonomists recognize the importance of integrating multiple lines of evidence in species delimitation and, as a result, many species complexes formerly delimited solely on the basis of morphology have proven to comprise multiple species after integrative taxonomic revisions. However, there are many species complexes in the tropics that have never been revised using integrative taxonomic approaches, which creates a latitudinal taxonomy gradient and precludes advances in several areas, such as inference in historical biogeography, macroecology and macroevolution. Here, I intend to conduct an integrative taxonomic revision for two highly polytypic Neotropical bird species-the Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis and the Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens. They encompass at least eighteen and twelve described subspecies, respectively, and show puzzling patterns of variation in multiple traits, such as plumage and vocalizations, but which do not clearly vary in a concerted fashion with phylogeographic structure. Some of the taxa under consideration are thought to be restricted to critically endangered areas, depicting the urgent need for a comprehensive revision to test their taxonomic validity.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LIMA, RAFAEL DANTAS; FERNANDES, MOABE F.; DE VASCONCELOS, MARCELO FERREIRA; CARDOSO, DOMINGOS; DE QUEIROZ, LUCIANO P.. Disparate biomes within the Caatinga region are not part of the same evolutionary community: A reply to Araujo et al. (2022). JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS, v. 209, p. 8-pg., . (21/10339-1)
RAFAEL DANTAS LIMA; LUÍS FÁBIO SILVEIRA; RENATA CONSTANT DE AMORIM LEMOS; LAHERT WILLIAM LOBO-ARAÚJO; ARTHUR BARBOSA DE ANDRADE; MERCIVAL ROBERTO FRANCISCO; MÁRCIO AMORIM EFE. An annotated avian inventory of the Brazilian state of Alagoas, one of the world’s most threatened avifauna. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo), v. 62, . (21/10339-1, 18/20249-7)
LIMA, RAFAEL DANTAS. On the validity of Caryothraustes canadensis frontalis (Hellmayr, 1905) (Aves: Cardinalidae). Zootaxa, v. 5165, n. 1, p. 7-pg., . (21/10339-1)

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