Data from: The role of physical barriers in the location of avian suture zones in the Guiana Shield, northern Amazonia
Naka, Luciano Nicholas et al. (2015), Data from: The role of physical barriers in the location of avian suture zones in the Guiana Shield, northern Amazonia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tr94hm86
Suture zones represent natural forums to examine the role of geography and ecology in the speciation process. Here, we conduct a comparative analysis designed to investigate the location of avian phylogeographic breaks and contact zones in the Guiana Shield, northern Amazonia. We use distributional and genetic data from 78 pairs of avian taxa to address whether phylogeographic breaks and contact zones are associated with contemporary landscape features. Using spatially explicit statistical models, we found that phylogeographic breaks and contact zones are not randomly distributed throughout the landscape. In general, geographic breaks cluster along physical barriers (rivers, non-forested habitats, and small mountain ranges), whereas contact zones aggregate where these barriers either break down or are easier to overcome, such as around rivers' headwaters. Our results indicate that although major Amazonian rivers are often key determinants of taxon boundaries, the 'riverine barrier effect' is a synergistic consequence of the wide lower reaches of some rivers, coupled with non-riverine landscape features at the headwaters. Our data suggest that ancestral refugia are not necessary to explain current distribution patterns and that pairs of co-distributed taxa do not seem to be the result of simultaneous diversification processes.