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Open Access Commentary

How a bird is an island

Richard Lapoint and Noah Whiteman*

Author Affiliations

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1041 E Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

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BMC Biology 2012, 10:53  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-53

Published: 20 June 2012

Abstract

Replicate adaptive radiations occur when lineages repeatedly radiate and fill new but similar niches and converge phenotypically. While this is commonly seen in traditional island systems, it may also be present in host-parasite relationships, where hosts serve as islands. In a recent article in BMC Biology, Johnson and colleagues have produced the most extensive phylogeny of the avian lice (Ischnocera) to date, and find evidence for this pattern. This study opens the door to exploring adaptive radiations from a novel host-parasite perspective.

See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/52 webcite