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Final Report Summary - CD AND CE (Patterns of phenotypic variation and their effect on the extent of range overlap and magnitude of character displacement)

When the ranges of related species of animals come into contact their interactions may include competition for resources, territory, and mates. Little is known about the respective roles of genetic and phenotypic differences on species interactions at contact zones between related species. A plethora of studies have described how species may competitively exclude each other from their ranges or coexist, facilitated by divergent character displacement, or even more recently by convergent character displacement, but no previous study has investigated how interactions may differ among contact zones between the same pair of species and others between related pairs of species.
Here we compared interactions among one pair of Pogoniulus tinkerbirds, P. bilineatus and P. subsulphureus in two contact zones in West and Central Africa, and another pair P. chrysoconus and P. pusillus (Fig. 1) at four contact zones in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Swaziland. The study involved extensive fieldwork, recording songs, performing playback experiments, taking morphometric measurements, and DNA samples, at the contact zone and at various distances from it in each region, while taking GPS coordinates for use with remote sensing and GIS analysis of environmental gradients.
In addition to data collected in the field, the study also involved examination of museum specimens at the British Natural History Museum in Tring, England, and the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where further morphometric measurements were taken as well as reflectance spectra of plumage coloration.
In the molecular lab, DNA was extracted from field-collected samples, as well as from some samples obtained from museum collections. Much of the genetic work focused on amplifying DNA using PCR to obtain two mitochondrial gene sequences were amplified using PCR, cytochrome b and ATPase 6 and 8, and two nuclear introns, Beta-fibrinogen 5 and Myoglobin. Further molecular work focused on microsatellite markers.

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