Information on the breeding biology of birds is essential for improving avian life-history theory and implementing sound management and conservation actions for these organisms. Comprehensive reviews of this kind of information are lacking for most Neotropical regions, including Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost Brazilian state. Aiming to update the knowledge on the reproductive status of birds in Rio Grande do Sul, we reviewed breeding records of all potential breeding species recorded in the state using a set of predefined, restrictive criteria for accepting breeding evidences as effective. Data satisfying our criteria were available for 165 species in the literature. We also collected novel breeding information obtained in the state for an additional 126 species, including observations for several species whose reproductive biology is poorly known. Among these are birds previously unknown to breed in Brazil. This new data and the critical review of the previous information resulted in a total of 291 species for which breeding evidences are accepted as effective. This corresponds to 54.7% of the 532 species considered either confirmed or potential breeders in the state. In addition to providing information on nesting dates, clutch size, nest architecture and breeding behavior of south Brazilian birds, our review serves as a benchmark for the adequate assessment of avian breeding records elsewhere. We hope to stimulate observers to rigorously document breeding events, especially for taxa for which basic information is lacking.
Scientists have long been trying to understand why the Neotropical region holds the highest diversity of birds on Earth. Recently, there has been increased interest in morphological variation between and within species, and in how climate, topography, and anthropogenic pressures may explain and affect phenotypic variation. Because morphological data are not always available for many species at the local or regional scale, we are limited in our understanding of intra‐ and interspecies spatial morphological variation. Here, we present the ATLANTIC BIRD TRAITS, a data set that includes measurements of up to 44 morphological traits in 67,197 bird records from 2,790 populations distributed throughout the Atlantic forests of South America. This data set comprises information, compiled over two centuries (1820–2018), for 711 bird species, which represent 80% of all known bird diversity in the Atlantic Forest. Among the most commonly reported traits are sex (n = 65,717), age (n = 63,852), body mass (n = 58,768), flight molt presence (n = 44,941), molt presence (n = 44,847), body molt presence (n = 44,606), tail length (n = 43,005), reproductive stage (n = 42,588), bill length (n = 37,409), body length (n = 28,394), right wing length (n = 21,950), tarsus length (n = 20,342), and wing length (n = 18,071). The most frequently recorded species are Chiroxiphia caudata (n = 1,837), Turdus albicollis (n = 1,658), Trichothraupis melanops (n = 1,468), Turdus leucomelas (n = 1,436), and Basileuterus culicivorus (n = 1,384). The species recorded in the greatest number of sampling localities are Basileuterus culicivorus (n = 243), Trichothraupis melanops (n = 242), Chiroxiphia caudata (n = 210), Platyrinchus mystaceus (n = 208), and Turdus rufiventris (n = 191). ATLANTIC BIRD TRAITS (ABT) is the most comprehensive data set on measurements of bird morphological traits found in a biodiversity hotspot; it provides data for basic and applied research at multiple scales, from individual to community, and from the local to the macroecological perspectives. No copyright or proprietary restrictions are associated with the use of this data set. Please cite this data paper when the data are used in publications or teaching and educational activities.
The search for molecular targets of selection is leading to a better understanding of how evolution shapes biological diversity. Instances of recent and rapid speciation are suitable for associating phenotypes with their causal genotypes, because gene flow may homogenize areas of the genome that are not under divergent selection. Locating differentiated genomic regions among taxa allows us to test associations between the genes in these regions and their contributions to phenotypic diversity. Here we study a rapid radiation of nine sympatric bird species known as southern capuchino seedeaters, which are strikingly differentiated in sexually selected characters of male plumage and song. We sequenced the genomes of 72 individuals representing a diverse set of species and associated phenotypes to search for differentiated genomic regions. We asked what genes are harbored in divergent regions and to what extent has selection on the same targets shaped phenotypic diversity across different lineages. Capuchinos show differences in a small proportion of their genomes, yet selection has acted independently on the same targets during the groups’ radiation. Many divergence peaks contain genes involved in the melanogenesis pathway, with the strongest signal originating from a regulatory region upstream of the gene coding for the Agouti-signaling protein. Across all divergence peaks, the most differentiated areas are similarly likely regulatory. Our findings are consistent with selection acting on the same genomic regions in different lineages to shape the evolution of cis-regulatory elements, which control how more conserved genes are expressed and thereby generate diversity in sexually selected traits.
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