Character displacement of song and morphology in African tinkerbirds
AuthorKirschel, A. N. G.
Blumstein, Daniel T.
Smith, T. B.
SourceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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Divergence in acoustic signals between populations of animals can lead to species recognition failure, reproductive isolation, and speciation. Character displacement may facilitate coexistence of species in natural communities, yet evidence for character displacement in acoustic signals is scant. Here, we find evidence of character displacement in song as well as body size and bill size of 2 related African tinkerbirds. Playback experiments indicate that related species' songs are perceived differently in sympatry than in allopatry. We suggest character displacement occurs in phenotypic traits facilitating species recognition, which has important implications for understanding the processes that lead to speciation and diversification. Because many of the sites where the 2 species coexist are areas where pristine rainforest has been degraded, results also suggest that anthropogenic pressures resulting from deforestation may be a contributing cause of character displacement in these species.
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