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Phylogeography of a widespread sub-Saharan murid rodent Aethomys chrysophilus: the role of geographic barriers and paleoclimate in the Zambezian bioregion

Mazoch, Vladimír, Mikula, Ondrej, Bryja, Josef, Konvicková, Hana, Russo, Isa-Rita, Verheyen, Erik and Sumbera, Radim 2018. Phylogeography of a widespread sub-Saharan murid rodent Aethomys chrysophilus: the role of geographic barriers and paleoclimate in the Zambezian bioregion. Mammalia 82 (4) , pp. 373-387. 10.1515/mammalia-2017-0001

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Abstract

Murid rodents of the genus Aethomys are one of the most common rodents in drier habitats in sub-Saharan Africa. Among them, the red veld rat Aethomys chrysophilus is the most widespread species with the core distribution located in the Zambezian bioregion. In this study, we describe phylogeographic structure of the species and estimate its age from a time-calibrated phylogeny of the genus. Seven parapatric clades were identified in the mitochondrial cytochrome b phylogeny, where some of the distributions of these clades have been separated by previously described biogeographical divides (Zambezi-Kafue river system, Rukwa Rift and the Eastern Arc Mountains). One internal clade corresponded to populations previously described as a distinct species, Aethomys ineptus. The whole A. chrysophilus complex was estimated to be 1.3 (0.5–2.4) Mya old, with A. ineptus originating 0.7 (0.1–1.4) Mya before present. The internal position of A. ineptus was also recovered in phylogenetic reconstruction based on two nuclear genes and thus it is not a consequence of mitochondrial introgression. In addition, we analyzed skull form variation across the species’ distributional range and found no significant difference between A. ineptus and the rest of A. chrysophilus complex.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 0025-1461
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 September 2019
Date of Acceptance: 28 June 2017
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 10:15
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/125569

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