Molecular Genetic Relationships of the Extinct Dusky Seaside Sparrow

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Science  03 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4891, pp. 646-648
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4891.646


Mitochondrial DNA from the extinct dusky seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens) was compared in terms of nucleotide sequence divergence to mitochondrial DNAs from extant populations of seaside sparrows. Analyses of restriction sites revealed a close phylogenetic affinity of A. m. nigrescens to other sparrow populations along the Atlantic coast of the United States but considerable genetic distance from Gulf coast birds. Concerns and applied management strategies for the seaside sparrow have been based on a morphological taxonomy that does not adequately reflect evolutionary relationships within the complex.

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