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Geographic diversification in the call repertoire of the genus Pyrrhocorax (Aves, Corvidae)

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We analysed the call repertoires of the Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and the Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) across three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) for intraspecific and interspecific differences in call-repertoire size and discuss the factors that could have promoted its evolution. The overall call repertoire of the Red-billed Chough was twice as large as that of the Alpine Chough, but the number of calls recorded in each population did not differ significantly between the two species. The greater fragmentation of the range of the Red-billed Chough possibly induced its remarkable call-repertoire diversification. Some populations (i.e., those from Ethiopia, Central Asia, Canaries) had a peculiar call repertoire that overlapped very little with those from other regions; consequently, the overall numbers of call types within the species were heavily influenced by these unusual populations and were very large. The call-repertoire size and call-repertoire similarity of populations of both species were affected and constrained by geographic distance. More closely situated or continental populations tended to have a more similar pool of calls (this is probably due to mingling among close populations).

Nous avons analysé le répertoire des cris chez le Crave à bec rouge (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) et le Chocard à bec jaune (Pyrrhocorax graculus) sur trois continents (Europe, Asie et Afrique) par estimation des différences intraspécifiques et interspécifiques dans l'importance du répertoire des cris et par examen des facteurs qui peuvent avoir favorisé son évolution. Dans l'ensemble, le répertoire des cris du Crave à bec rouge est deux fois plus important que celui du Chocard à bec jaune, mais le nombre de cris enregistrés chez chacune des populations ne diffère pas significativement chez les deux espèces. La fragmentation plus importante de l'aire de répartition du Crave à bec rouge est sans doute responsable de la diversification remarquable de son répertoire. Certaines populations (i.e., celles de l'Éthiopie, de l'Asie centrale et des îles Canaries) ont des répertoires bizarres avec très peu de chevauchement avec des oiseaux d'autres régions; en conséquence, le nombre global de types de cris au sein de l'espèce est fortement influencé par ces populations particulières et est donc très élevé. L'importance du répertoire et la similarité du répertoire chez les populations des deux espèces sont affectées et restreintes par la distance géographique. Les populations proches les unes des autres ou les populations continentales ont tendance à avoir un répertoire plus semblable (probablement à cause des mélanges entre populations rapprochées).[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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