The birds in the family Parulidae-commonly termed the New World warblers or wood-warblers-are a classic model radiation for studies of ecological and behavioral differentiation. Although the monophyly of a 'core' wood-warbler clade is well established, no phylogenetic hypothesis for this group has included a full sampling of wood-warbler species diversity. We used parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods to reconstruct relationships among all genera and nearly all wood-warbler species, based on a matrix of mitochondrial DNA (5840 nucleotides) and nuclear DNA (6 loci, 4602 nucleotides) characters. The resulting phylogenetic hypotheses provide a highly congruent picture of wood-warbler relationships, and indicate that the traditional generic classification of these birds recognizes many non-monophyletic groups. We recommend a revised taxonomy in which each of 14 genera (Seiurus, Helmitheros, Mniotilta, Limnothlypis, Protonotaria, Parkesia, Vermivora, Oreothlypis, Geothlypis, Setophaga, Myioborus, Cardellina, Basileuterus, Myiothlypis) corresponds to a well-supported clade; these nomenclatural changes also involve subsuming a number of well-known, traditional wood-warbler genera (Catharopeza, Dendroica, Ergaticus, Euthlypis, Leucopeza, Oporornis, Parula, Phaeothlypis, Wilsonia). We provide a summary phylogenetic hypothesis that will be broadly applicable to investigations of the historical biogeography, processes of diversification, and evolution of trait variation in this well studied avian group. ?? 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Additional publication details
A comprehensive multilocus phylogeny for the wood-warblers and a revised classification of the Parulidae (Aves)