Article: article from journal or magazin.
Geographic variation of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula Hermann, 1780 Mammalia, Soricidae)
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
A multivariate morphometric study of the Greater white-toothed shrew (C. russula) throughout its Palearctic range was carried out to search for patterns of geographic variation within the species boundary. Burnaby's and multiple group principal component analysis allowed the adjustment of raw data with respect to within-sample allometric variation. Multivariate 'size-free' results show a stepped dine with the phenotypical trait reduction and shape change from the eastern to the western Maghreb. Pleistocene fossil mandibles proved to have low phenetic distances with eastern populations (Tunisia, east Algeria) and it is argued that their character set is the primitive condition. The ancestral Mid-Pleistocene shrews lived in a relatively more humid climate. Gee-climatic changes in the north African range during the Quaternary provoked phenetic variation of C. russula and, it can be argued, evolution of the modern western C.r. yebalensis. A historical process can thus be assumed as the main cause of this categorical variation, by segmentation of the species range due to gee-climatic events. Morphometric discontinuity within the C. russula Maghreb range is shown to be congruent with karyological and biochemical studies. Moroccan and Tunisian shrews differ, for example, in NFa chromosomes and electrophoretical traits. A stasipatric process should be invoked to explain categorical variation in the Maghreb range. Colonization and divergence of insular populations results in more or less differentiated geographic races. The populations of Ibiza and Pantelleria are close to the species threshold (Nei's D greater than or equal to 0.1). The process of speciation undergone by the Greater white-toothed shrew results in a complex pattern of geographic variation, including both allopatric and non-allopatric modes.
Palearctic, multivariate analysis, systematics, stasipatric speciation
Web of science
Last modification date