Use of DNA barcoding in integrative taxonomy: is the Iberian Green Woodpecker an independent species?
Guillem Izquierdo Arànega
Període de realització
2016 - 2018
The Iberian subspecies of Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus (viridis) sharpei) has long been known to be significantly different from the nominate subspecies (Picus viridis viridis) in terms of morphology. Recently, different researches in the species’ mitochondrial DNA, in particular cytochrome b, have pointed out the possibility of Picus viridis being a species complex consisting of at least two species. The aim of this article is to find evidence that Picus sharpei is a valid species by applying the integrative taxonomy ideas. Both morphological/behavioural and genetic evidence that support the treatment of the Iberian Green Woodpecker as an independent species have been collected and assembled from different sources. Moreover, this information has been complemented with the sequencing and comparison of the mtDNA control region of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COXI) in order to observe the rate of genetic divergence in the COI-5P gene region between the Iberian and European birds. Results show a high divergence (2.23% - 2.38%) in this region between them, supporting, along with other data collected in this article, the species level treatment of the Iberian Green Woodpecker.