Andreas J Helbig

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Multiple sources of evidence show that the skuas (Aves:Stercorariidae) are a monophyletic group, closely related to gulls (Laridae. On morphological and behavioural evidence the Stercorariidae are divided into two widely divergent genera, Catharacta and Stercorarius, consistent with observed levels of nuclear and mitochondrial gene divergence. Catharacta(More)
To understand the evolution of ecological niches it is important to know whether niche evolution is constrained by phylogeny. We approached this question for Sylvia warblers by testing if closely related species are more similar in 20 ecologically relevant morphological traits than distantly related species. Phylogenetic relatedness was quantified using a(More)
BACKGROUND Based on extensive mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data, we previously showed that the model of speciation among species of herring gull (Larus argentatus) complex was not that of a ring species, but most likely due more complex speciation scenario's. We also found that two species, herring gull and glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus) displayed an(More)
Because of the differential amplitude of climatic oscillations, species living at northern latitudes are subject to more frequent and more severe range oscillations than species at southern latitudes. As a consequence, northern populations should, on average, be phylogenetically younger and possess less phylogeographical structure than closely related taxa(More)
The mechanisms by which migratory birds find their way from breeding grounds to winter quarters and back have been the subject of intensive research during the past four decades. Birds are equipped with genetic information about the migratory direction, and they can use the earth's magnetic field, star patterns and the sun and/or skylight polarization(More)
Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) from five areas in Central Europe were hand-raised. Their autumn migratory orientation was tested in funnel-shaped cages. Their directional choices were compared to recoveries of conspecifics ringed during the breeding season in the same areas, which are situated on a transect across a migratory divide between southeastward(More)
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