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New Sorex araneus karyotypes from Germany and the postglacial recolonization of central Europe
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New G-banded karyotypes from populations of the common shrew Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 provide a clearer picture of the distribution of chromosome races in central Europe. As expected according to their occurrence in neighbouring countries, the Jutland (kq, no), Laska (k/o) and Drnholec (ko, nr) races are also found in Germany. A new chromosome race "Rugen" (kq) is described from this Baltic Island. Together with the previously recorded races Ulm and Mooswald (kr), six chromosome races are now known from Germany. The resulting distribution pattern is characterized by high frequencies of different race-specific metacentrics at the periphery of the country and clines with decreasing frequencies towards the centre which is occupied by the Ulm race. This race is acrocentric for all chromosome arms involved in the observed race-specific fusions and represents a buffer between the surrounding, more metacentric races. According to the present distribution of these metacentrics, a scenario for the postglacial recolonization of central Europe by S. araneus populations on three different routes is proposed: from the east along the northern slopes of the Carpathian Arc, from the south-east along the Danube Valley and from the south-west through the Upper Rhine Valley.
sorex araneus chromosome race colonization routes karyotype common shrew sorex chromosome races hybrid zone mitochondrial-DNA northern poland small mammals insectivora soricidae evolution colonization
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