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New insight into the colonization processes of common voles: inferences from molecular and fossil evidence.

Tougard C, Renvoisé E, Petitjean A, Quéré JP - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: Elucidating the colonization processes associated with Quaternary climatic cycles is important in order to understand the distribution of biodiversity and the evolutionary potential of temperate plant and animal species.Species can experience heterogeneous evolutionary histories over their geographic range.Multidisciplinary approaches should therefore be preferentially chosen in prospective studies, the better to understand the impact of climatic change on past and present biodiversity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UMR CNRS/uB 5561 Biogéosciences-Dijon, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France. Christelle.Tougard@univ-montp2.fr

ABSTRACT
Elucidating the colonization processes associated with Quaternary climatic cycles is important in order to understand the distribution of biodiversity and the evolutionary potential of temperate plant and animal species. In Europe, general evolutionary scenarios have been defined from genetic evidence. Recently, these scenarios have been challenged with genetic as well as fossil data. The origins of the modern distributions of most temperate plant and animal species could predate the Last Glacial Maximum. The glacial survival of such populations may have occurred in either southern (Mediterranean regions) and/or northern (Carpathians) refugia. Here, a phylogeographic analysis of a widespread European small mammal (Microtus arvalis) is conducted with a multidisciplinary approach. Genetic, fossil and ecological traits are used to assess the evolutionary history of this vole. Regardless of whether the European distribution of the five previously identified evolutionary lineages is corroborated, this combined analysis brings to light several colonization processes of M. arvalis. The species' dispersal was relatively gradual with glacial survival in small favourable habitats in Western Europe (from Germany to Spain) while in the rest of Europe, because of periglacial conditions, dispersal was less regular with bottleneck events followed by postglacial expansions. Our study demonstrates that the evolutionary history of European temperate small mammals is indeed much more complex than previously suggested. Species can experience heterogeneous evolutionary histories over their geographic range. Multidisciplinary approaches should therefore be preferentially chosen in prospective studies, the better to understand the impact of climatic change on past and present biodiversity.

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Geographic distribution of Microtus arvalis populations and fossil localities.The shaded zone (A) corresponds to the distribution range of the common vole [25], [31]. European (B) and French (C) populations are listed in Table S1. Fossil localities studied are: (a) Miesenheim I, Germany [29]; (b) la Baume de Gigny, France (Gigny, Jura) [49]; (c) le Taillis des Coteaux, France (Antigny, Vienne) [52]. Numbers are French zip codes.
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pone-0003532-g001: Geographic distribution of Microtus arvalis populations and fossil localities.The shaded zone (A) corresponds to the distribution range of the common vole [25], [31]. European (B) and French (C) populations are listed in Table S1. Fossil localities studied are: (a) Miesenheim I, Germany [29]; (b) la Baume de Gigny, France (Gigny, Jura) [49]; (c) le Taillis des Coteaux, France (Antigny, Vienne) [52]. Numbers are French zip codes.

Mentions: The common vole (Microtus arvalis) is a small European rodent often considered a pest, although as with most Arvicolinae, it is a good species model for the study of evolutionary questions. This is because of its short generation time, good fossil record, well-known ecology and fast mtDNA substitution rates [24]–28. This vole has been present in the fossil record since the Late Cromerian (0.500–0.450 Myr) [29], [30]. It is currently widespread in Europe with a continuous distribution from the Atlantic coast of France to central Siberia, ranging in altitude from sea level to 3000 m in the Alps (Figure 1A) [25], [31]. Its range is limited by a double climatic barrier to the north by mean July temperatures <+16°C, and to the south by arid environments [32]. This vole builds tunnel systems connected by surface runways, and lives in open field areas (i.e. cultivated fields, temporary alfalfa and clover meadows and mountain grassland) [25]. The phylogeography of the common vole has previously been investigated from mtDNA control region (CR) and cytochrome b gene (cytb) sequences and microsatellites [6], [33], [34]. This rodent displays a clear phylogeographic structure with five evolutionary lineages identified over its range: Western (W), Eastern (E), Central (C), Freiburg (F) and Italian (I) lineages. Haynes et al. [6] agree with the general evolutionary scenarios of colonization (e.g. spread from different southern LGM refugia), whereas Fink et al. [33] and Heckel et al. [34] see things somewhat differently. For them, genetic diversity through Europe suggests glacial survival of the common vole outside the classical refugia and a potentially more ancient colonization (pre-LGM) from the northeast to the southwest of Europe. Nevertheless, neither the exact location of the M. arvalis lineage origin, nor the position of glacial refugia, or even the date of the colonization onset have yet been established. Fossil data have perhaps not yet been accorded the place they deserve.


New insight into the colonization processes of common voles: inferences from molecular and fossil evidence.

Tougard C, Renvoisé E, Petitjean A, Quéré JP - PLoS ONE (2008)

Geographic distribution of Microtus arvalis populations and fossil localities.The shaded zone (A) corresponds to the distribution range of the common vole [25], [31]. European (B) and French (C) populations are listed in Table S1. Fossil localities studied are: (a) Miesenheim I, Germany [29]; (b) la Baume de Gigny, France (Gigny, Jura) [49]; (c) le Taillis des Coteaux, France (Antigny, Vienne) [52]. Numbers are French zip codes.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2570793&req=5

pone-0003532-g001: Geographic distribution of Microtus arvalis populations and fossil localities.The shaded zone (A) corresponds to the distribution range of the common vole [25], [31]. European (B) and French (C) populations are listed in Table S1. Fossil localities studied are: (a) Miesenheim I, Germany [29]; (b) la Baume de Gigny, France (Gigny, Jura) [49]; (c) le Taillis des Coteaux, France (Antigny, Vienne) [52]. Numbers are French zip codes.
Mentions: The common vole (Microtus arvalis) is a small European rodent often considered a pest, although as with most Arvicolinae, it is a good species model for the study of evolutionary questions. This is because of its short generation time, good fossil record, well-known ecology and fast mtDNA substitution rates [24]–28. This vole has been present in the fossil record since the Late Cromerian (0.500–0.450 Myr) [29], [30]. It is currently widespread in Europe with a continuous distribution from the Atlantic coast of France to central Siberia, ranging in altitude from sea level to 3000 m in the Alps (Figure 1A) [25], [31]. Its range is limited by a double climatic barrier to the north by mean July temperatures <+16°C, and to the south by arid environments [32]. This vole builds tunnel systems connected by surface runways, and lives in open field areas (i.e. cultivated fields, temporary alfalfa and clover meadows and mountain grassland) [25]. The phylogeography of the common vole has previously been investigated from mtDNA control region (CR) and cytochrome b gene (cytb) sequences and microsatellites [6], [33], [34]. This rodent displays a clear phylogeographic structure with five evolutionary lineages identified over its range: Western (W), Eastern (E), Central (C), Freiburg (F) and Italian (I) lineages. Haynes et al. [6] agree with the general evolutionary scenarios of colonization (e.g. spread from different southern LGM refugia), whereas Fink et al. [33] and Heckel et al. [34] see things somewhat differently. For them, genetic diversity through Europe suggests glacial survival of the common vole outside the classical refugia and a potentially more ancient colonization (pre-LGM) from the northeast to the southwest of Europe. Nevertheless, neither the exact location of the M. arvalis lineage origin, nor the position of glacial refugia, or even the date of the colonization onset have yet been established. Fossil data have perhaps not yet been accorded the place they deserve.

Bottom Line: Elucidating the colonization processes associated with Quaternary climatic cycles is important in order to understand the distribution of biodiversity and the evolutionary potential of temperate plant and animal species.Species can experience heterogeneous evolutionary histories over their geographic range.Multidisciplinary approaches should therefore be preferentially chosen in prospective studies, the better to understand the impact of climatic change on past and present biodiversity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UMR CNRS/uB 5561 Biogéosciences-Dijon, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France. Christelle.Tougard@univ-montp2.fr

ABSTRACT
Elucidating the colonization processes associated with Quaternary climatic cycles is important in order to understand the distribution of biodiversity and the evolutionary potential of temperate plant and animal species. In Europe, general evolutionary scenarios have been defined from genetic evidence. Recently, these scenarios have been challenged with genetic as well as fossil data. The origins of the modern distributions of most temperate plant and animal species could predate the Last Glacial Maximum. The glacial survival of such populations may have occurred in either southern (Mediterranean regions) and/or northern (Carpathians) refugia. Here, a phylogeographic analysis of a widespread European small mammal (Microtus arvalis) is conducted with a multidisciplinary approach. Genetic, fossil and ecological traits are used to assess the evolutionary history of this vole. Regardless of whether the European distribution of the five previously identified evolutionary lineages is corroborated, this combined analysis brings to light several colonization processes of M. arvalis. The species' dispersal was relatively gradual with glacial survival in small favourable habitats in Western Europe (from Germany to Spain) while in the rest of Europe, because of periglacial conditions, dispersal was less regular with bottleneck events followed by postglacial expansions. Our study demonstrates that the evolutionary history of European temperate small mammals is indeed much more complex than previously suggested. Species can experience heterogeneous evolutionary histories over their geographic range. Multidisciplinary approaches should therefore be preferentially chosen in prospective studies, the better to understand the impact of climatic change on past and present biodiversity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus