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The phylogeography of Lemniscomys striatus (Rodentia, Muridae) confirms a singular vicariance in neighbouring savannah populations in Central Gabon.

Author(s): Jean-François Mboumba | Violaine Nicolas | Marc Colyn | Pierre Deleporte

Journal: African Zoology
ISSN 1562-7020

Volume: 47;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Lemniscomys striatus | fragmented landscape | Nested Clade Analysis | cytochrome b | Pleistocene.

Our recent phylogeographic study on the strict savannah small rodent Nannomys minutoides revealed an unexpected pattern of vicariance between populations of neighbouring island savannahs in Central Gabon, suggesting the past and lasting fragmentation of these savannahs. In this study, we test this hypothesis using comparative phylogeography on another species of savannah rodent: Lemniscomys striatus, using NCA on cytochrome b sequences of 53 individuals, particularly checking for vicariance patterns in the Lopé National Park region. L. striatus shows a local vicariance pattern globally similar to that of N. minutoides. These new results further support the scenario of past and lasting fragmentation of the local savannah landscape during upper Pleistocene, despite the repetitive savannah expansion episodes well documented by global landscape history. Geographical barriers impeding a generalized mixing of local savannah rodent populations, and likely consisting of forested areas, must have persisted in this region; which could not have been inferred only from global paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental analyses.
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