Ecogeographical patterns of morphological variation in pygmy shrews Sorex minutus (Soricomorpha: Soricinae) within a phylogeographic and continental-and-island framework

Vega, R., McDevitt, A., Krystufek, B. and Searle, J. (2016) Ecogeographical patterns of morphological variation in pygmy shrews Sorex minutus (Soricomorpha: Soricinae) within a phylogeographic and continental-and-island framework. Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society. ISSN 1095-8312.

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Abstract

Ecogeographical patterns of morphological variation were studied in the Eurasian pygmy shrew Sorex minutus to understand the species’ morphological diversity in a continental and island setting, and within the context of previous detailed phylogeographic studies. In total, 568 mandibles and 377 skulls of S. minutus from continental and island populations from Europe and Atlantic islands were examined using a geometric morphometrics approach, and the general relationships of mandible and skull size and shape with geographical and environmental variables was studied. Samples were then pooled into predefined geographical groups to evaluate the morphological differences among them using analyses of variance, to contrast the morphological and genetic relationships based on morphological and genetic distances and ancestral state reconstructions, and to assess the correlations of morphological, genetic and geographic distances with Mantel tests. We found significant relationships of mandible size with geographic and environmental variables, fitting the converse Bergmann’s rule; however, for skull size this was less evident. Continental groups of S. minutus could not readily be differentiated from each other by shape. Most island groups of S. minutus were easily discriminated from the continental groups by being larger, indicative of an island effect. Moreover, morphological and genetic distances differed substantially, and again island groups were distinctive morphologically. Morphological and geographical distances were significantly correlated, but not so the morphological and genetic distances indicating that morphological variation does not reflect genetic subdivision in S. minutus. Our analyses showed that environmental variables and insularity had important effects on the morphological differentiation of S. minutus.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 General including nature conservation, geographical distribution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0359 Evolution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0540 Ecology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0605 Chordates. Vertebrates
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL0700 Mammals
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0799 Morphology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Rodrigo Vega
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 15:28
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2017 18:55
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14494

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00