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An endemic rat species complex is evidence of moderate environmental changes in the terrestrial biodiversity centre of China through the late Quaternary

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The underlying mechanisms that allow the Hengduan Mountains (HDM), the terrestrial biodiversity centre of China, to harbour high levels of species diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we sought to explore the biogeographic history of the endemic rat, Niviventer andersoni species complex (NASC), and to understand the long-term persistence of high species diversity in this region. In contrast to previous studies that have proposed regional refuges in eastern or southern of the HDM and emphasized the influence of climatic oscillations on local vertebrates, we found that HDM as a whole acted as refuge for the NASC and that the historical range shifts of NASC mainly occurred in the marginal regions. Demographic analyses revealed slight recent population decline in Yunnan and south-eastern Tibet, whereas of the populations in Sichuan and of the entire NASC were stable. This pattern differs greatly from classic paradigms of temperate or alpine and holarctic species. Interestingly, the mean elevation, area and climate of potential habitats of clade a (N. excelsior), an alpine inhabitant, showed larger variations than did those of clade b (N. andersoni), a middle-high altitude inhabitant. These species represent the evolutionary history of montane small mammals in regions that were less affected by the Quaternary climatic changes.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of the NASC as revealed by fossils, museum collections and molecular voucher specimens.Dots show fossil occurrences dating to different periods (represented by colour differences), blue pentagons show the locations of museum collections, and green squares show the locations of molecular voucher specimens. The presence data were mapped on the world topographic layer in ArcGis [9.0] (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop).
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f1: Distribution of the NASC as revealed by fossils, museum collections and molecular voucher specimens.Dots show fossil occurrences dating to different periods (represented by colour differences), blue pentagons show the locations of museum collections, and green squares show the locations of molecular voucher specimens. The presence data were mapped on the world topographic layer in ArcGis [9.0] (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop).

Mentions: In the present study, we integrated fossil records with recent collection records (Fig. 1) of the NASC (Fig. 2A) and explored the phylogenetic structure and demographic history of this species complex based on three mitochondrial DNA fragments (Cytochrome b, CytB; Cytochrome oxidase subunit I, COI; the D-loop sequence, D-loop) and one nuclear fragment (the first exon of the interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein gene, IRBP). Through these analyses, we sought to understand the evolutionary process of the NASC and reveal the underlying mechanisms that have allowed the long-term existence of high species diversity and endemism in the HDM.


An endemic rat species complex is evidence of moderate environmental changes in the terrestrial biodiversity centre of China through the late Quaternary
Distribution of the NASC as revealed by fossils, museum collections and molecular voucher specimens.Dots show fossil occurrences dating to different periods (represented by colour differences), blue pentagons show the locations of museum collections, and green squares show the locations of molecular voucher specimens. The presence data were mapped on the world topographic layer in ArcGis [9.0] (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5385558&req=5

f1: Distribution of the NASC as revealed by fossils, museum collections and molecular voucher specimens.Dots show fossil occurrences dating to different periods (represented by colour differences), blue pentagons show the locations of museum collections, and green squares show the locations of molecular voucher specimens. The presence data were mapped on the world topographic layer in ArcGis [9.0] (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop).
Mentions: In the present study, we integrated fossil records with recent collection records (Fig. 1) of the NASC (Fig. 2A) and explored the phylogenetic structure and demographic history of this species complex based on three mitochondrial DNA fragments (Cytochrome b, CytB; Cytochrome oxidase subunit I, COI; the D-loop sequence, D-loop) and one nuclear fragment (the first exon of the interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein gene, IRBP). Through these analyses, we sought to understand the evolutionary process of the NASC and reveal the underlying mechanisms that have allowed the long-term existence of high species diversity and endemism in the HDM.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The underlying mechanisms that allow the Hengduan Mountains (HDM), the terrestrial biodiversity centre of China, to harbour high levels of species diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we sought to explore the biogeographic history of the endemic rat, Niviventer andersoni species complex (NASC), and to understand the long-term persistence of high species diversity in this region. In contrast to previous studies that have proposed regional refuges in eastern or southern of the HDM and emphasized the influence of climatic oscillations on local vertebrates, we found that HDM as a whole acted as refuge for the NASC and that the historical range shifts of NASC mainly occurred in the marginal regions. Demographic analyses revealed slight recent population decline in Yunnan and south-eastern Tibet, whereas of the populations in Sichuan and of the entire NASC were stable. This pattern differs greatly from classic paradigms of temperate or alpine and holarctic species. Interestingly, the mean elevation, area and climate of potential habitats of clade a (N. excelsior), an alpine inhabitant, showed larger variations than did those of clade b (N. andersoni), a middle-high altitude inhabitant. These species represent the evolutionary history of montane small mammals in regions that were less affected by the Quaternary climatic changes.

No MeSH data available.