Carl H. Oliveros, Louisiana State University
Daniel J. Field, University of Bath
Daniel T. Ksepka, Bruce Museum
F. Keith Barker, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Alexandre Aleixo, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi
Michael J. Andersen, The University of New Mexico
Per Alström, Evolutionary Biology Centre
Brett W. Benz, American Museum of Natural History
Edward L. Braun, University of Florida
Michael J. Braun, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Gustavo A. Bravo, Harvard University
Robb T. Brumfield, Louisiana State University
R. Terry Chesser, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Santiago Claramunt, Royal Ontario Museum
Joel Cracraft, American Museum of Natural History
Andrés M. Cuervo, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Elizabeth P. Derryberry, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Travis C. Glenn, University of Georgia
Michael G. Harvey, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Peter A. Hosner, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Leo Joseph, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Rebecca T. Kimball, University of Florida
Andrew L. Mack, Penn State Altoona
Colin M. Miskelly, Museum of New Zealand- Te Papa Tongarewa
A. Townsend Peterson, University of Kansas, Lawrence
Mark B. Robbins, University of Kansas, Lawrence
Frederick H. Sheldon, Louisiana State University
Luís Fábio Silveira, Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
Brian Tilston Smith, American Museum of Natural History
Noor D. White, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Robert G. Moyle, University of Kansas, Lawrence
Brant C. Faircloth, Louisiana State University

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© 2019 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Avian diversification has been influenced by global climate change, plate tectonic movements, and mass extinction events. However, the impact of these factors on the diversification of the hyperdiverse perching birds (passerines) is unclear because family level relationships are unresolved and the timing of splitting events among lineages is uncertain. We analyzed DNA data from 4,060 nuclear loci and 137 passerine families using concatenation and coalescent approaches to infer a comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis that clarifies relationships among all passerine families. Then, we calibrated this phylogeny using 13 fossils to examine the effects of different events in Earth history on the timing and rate of passerine diversification. Our analyses reconcile passerine diversification with the fossil and geological records; suggest that passerines originated on the Australian landmass ∼47 Ma; and show that subsequent dispersal and diversification of passerines was affected by a number of climatological and geological events, such as Oligocene glaciation and inundation of the New Zealand landmass. Although passerine diversification rates fluctuated throughout the Cenozoic, we find no link between the rate of passerine diversification and Cenozoic global temperature, and our analyses show that the increases in passerine diversification rate we observe are disconnected from the colonization of new continents. Taken together, these results suggest more complex mechanisms than temperature change or ecological opportunity have controlled macroscale patterns of passerine speciation.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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