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Paper Title: Diversification of a ‘great speciator’ in the Wallacea region: differing responses of closely related resident and migratory kingfisher species (Aves: Alcedinidae: Todiramphus)

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Paper Summary:

The Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus, species have shown a remarkable ability to spread and diversify in the Indo-Pacific. Due to this rapid diversification, Todiramphus species are often found in secondary sympatry. In Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, two Todiramphus species are present: the breeding resident Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, and the overwintering migratory Sacred Kingfisher, Todiramphus sanctus. The authors investigated the effect of isolation on these two closely related species by comparing the populations on mainland Sulawesi with populations on the small Wakatobi Islands nearby. Populations of Collared Kingfisher on the Wakatobi Islands had diverged from those on mainland Sulawesi, demonstrated by differences in their body size and their mitochondrial DNA. However, there was no divergence between Sacred Kingfisher populations. The authors think that a difference in the habitat occupied by Collared Kingfisher populations between the mainland vs. oceanic islands caused the change. On the mainland, Collared Kingfishers are mainly found inland, whereas Wakatobi Collared Kingfishers are also found near the coast. The bigger body size of Wakatobi Collared Kingfisher populations could be a result of competition for resources with predominantly coastal Sacred Kingfisher populations, where being bigger may give them an edge on the competition. The lack of differences between Sacred Kingfisher populations probably reflects their consistent habitat choice of coastal mangrove and their migratory nature because their breeding range is likely to have more influence on them than their wintering range. These results provide insight into the adaptability of the widespread Todiramphus lineage and show that further taxonomic revision of Collared Kingfisher populations might be needed.

Authors: Darren P. O’Connell, David J. Kelly, Naomi Lawless, Adi Karya, Kangkuso Analuddin, Nicola M. Marples

Journal: IBIS

Year: 2018

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