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Genetic structure of Gymnures (genus Hylomys; Erinaceidae) on continental islands of Southeast Asia: Historical effects of fragmentation
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Eustatic sea level changes during Pleistocene climatic fluctuations produced several cycles of connection-isolation among continental islands of the Sunda shelf. To explore the potential effects of these fluctuations, we reconstructed a model of the vicariant events that separated these islands, based on bathymetric information. Among many possible scenarios, two opposite phylogenetic patterns of evolution were predicted for terrestrial organisms living in this region: one is based on the classical allopatric speciation mode of evolution, while the other is the outcome of a sequential dispersal colonization of the archipelago. We tested the applicability of these predictions with an analysis of sequence variation of the cytochrome b gene from several taxa of Hylomys. They were sampled throughout SE-Asia and the Sunda islands. High levels of haplotype differentiation characterize the different island taxa. Such levels of differentiation support the existence of several allopatric species, as was suggested by previous allozyme and morphological data. Also in accordance with previous results, the occurrence of two sympatric species from Sumatra is suggested by their strongly divergent haplotypes. One species, Hylomys suillus maxi, is found both on Sumatra and in Peninsular Malaysia, while the other, H. parvus, is endemic to Sumatra. Its closest relative is H. suillus dorsalis from Borneo. Phylogenetic reconstructions also demonstrate the existence of a Sundaic clade composed of all island taxa, as opposed to those from the continent. Although there is no statistical support for either proposed biogeographic model of evolution, we argue that the sequential dispersal scenario is more appropriate to describe the genetic variation found among the Hylomys taxa. However, despite strong differentiation among island haplotypes, the cladistic relationships between some island taxa could not be resolved. We argue that this is evidence of a rapid radiation, suggesting that the separation of the islands may have been perceived as a simultaneous event rather than as a succession of vicariant events. Furthermore, the estimates of divergence times between the haplotypes of these taxa suggest that this radiation may actually have predated the climatic fluctuations of the Pleistocene. Further refinement of the initial palaeogeographic models of evolution are therefore needed to account for these results.
biogeography, Insectivora, cytochrome b, sequence divergence, phylogenetics
Web of science
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