Data from: Ecological and evolutionary determinants for the adaptive radiation of the Madagascan vangas

Jonsson, K. A. (Creator), Fabre, P. (Creator), Fritz, S. A. (Creator), Etienne, R. (Creator), Ricklefs, R. E. (Creator), Jorgensen, T. B. (Creator), Fjeldsa, J. (Creator), Rahbek, C. (Creator), Ericson, P. G. P. (Creator), Woog, F. (Creator), Pasquet, E. (Creator), Irestedt, M. (Creator), University of Groningen, 4-Sep-2012


  • Knud A. Jonsson (Creator)
  • Pierre-Henri Fabre (Creator)
  • Susanne A. Fritz (Creator)
  • Rampal Etienne (Creator)
  • Robert E. Ricklefs (Creator)
  • Tobias B. Jorgensen (Creator)
  • Jon Fjeldsa (Creator)
  • Carsten Rahbek (Creator)
  • Per G. P. Ericson (Creator)
  • Friederike Woog (Creator)
  • Eric Pasquet (Creator)
  • Martin Irestedt (Creator)


Adaptive radiation is the rapid diversification of a single lineage into many species that inhabit a variety of environments or use a variety of resources and differ in traits required to exploit these. Why some lineages undergo adaptive radiation is not well-understood, but filling unoccupied ecological space appears to be a common feature. We construct a complete, dated, species-level phylogeny of the endemic Vangidae of Madagascar. This passerine bird radiation represents a classic, but poorly known, avian adaptive radiation. Our results reveal an initial rapid increase in evolutionary lineages and diversification in morphospace after colonizing Madagascar in the late Oligocene some 25 Mya. A subsequent key innovation involving unique bill morphology was associated with a second increase in diversification rates about 10 Mya. The volume of morphospace occupied by contemporary Madagascan vangas is in many aspects as large (shape variation)—or even larger (size variation)—as that of other better-known avian adaptive radiations, including the much younger Galapagos Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers. Morphological space bears a close relationship to diet, substrate use, and foraging movements, and thus our results demonstrate the great extent of the evolutionary diversification of the Madagascan vangas.

The maximum-likelihood analyses and Bayesian analyses performed on our concatenated dataset, and on the individual partitions, yielded trees that were topologically congruent for well-supported nodes (Fig. 1A and Figs. S1–S6). Whereas the individual gene trees all found non-Madagascan taxa, the continental “Vangidae” (Philentoma, Bias, Hemipus, Tephrodornis, and Prionops), nested within the Madagascan Vangidae clade, analyses of the concatenated dataset recovered the Madagascan Vangidae as monophyletic (with low support). A recent analysis of a 13-gene dataset on most vanga species (17) agrees with our more tentative finding that the Madagascan Vangidae represent a radiation with a single origin, contrary to conclusions based on previous morphological studies (15).
Date made available4-Sep-2012
PublisherUniversity of Groningen
Geographical coverageMadagascar
Access to the dataset Open

    Keywords on Datasets

  • island endemism, lineage diversification, phylogenetics, Passeriformes, Corvoidea, Vangidae
Related Publications
  1. Ecological and evolutionary determinants for the adaptive radiation of the Madagascan vangas

    Jonsson, K. A., Fabre, P-H., Fritz, S. A., Etienne, R. S., Ricklefs, R. E., Jorgensen, T. B., Fjeldsa, J., Rahbek, C., Ericson, P. G. P., Woog, F., Pasquet, E. & Irestedt, M., 24-Apr-2012, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109, 17, p. 6620-6625 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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