Phylogeographic Patterns in Africa and High Resolution Delineation of Genetic Clades in the Lion (Panthera leo).
Sci Rep 6, 30807 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep30807
Comparative phylogeography of African savannah mammals shows a congruent pattern in which populations in West/Central Africa are distinct from populations in East/Southern Africa. However, for the lion, all African populations are currently classified as a single subspecies (Panthera leo leo), while the only remaining population in Asia is considered to be distinct (Panthera leo persica). This distinction is disputed both by morphological and genetic data. In this study we introduce the lion as a model for African phylogeography. Analyses of mtDNA sequences reveal six supported clades and a strongly supported ancestral dichotomy with northern populations (West Africa, Central Africa, North Africa/Asia) on one branch and southern populations (North East Africa, East/Southern Africa and South West Africa) on the other. We review taxonomies and phylogenies of other large savannah mammals, illustrating that similar clades are found in other species. The described phylogeographic pattern is considered in relation to large scale environmental changes in Africa over the past 300,000 years, attributable to climate. Refugial areas, predicted by climate envelope models, further confirm the observed pattern. We support the revision of current lion taxonomy, as recognition of a northern and a southern subspecies is more parsimonious with the evolutionary history of the lion.
Über den Auerochsen und seine Rückzüchtung.
Jahrbuch des Nassauischen Vereins für Naturkunde 90:107-124
Der Ur, Auer oder Auerochs (Bos primigenius L.) gehört zu den erst in den letzten Jahrhunderten, und zwar durch menschliche Einwirkung auf der Erde ausgestorbenen großen freilebenden Säugetierarten und hielt sich bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Nach den Überlieferungen wurde die letzte Auerkuh in diesem Raum im Jahre 1627 in Jaktorowo, einem heute verschwundenen Waldgebiet bei Warschau, erlegt. Damit war eine einst recht häufige Säugetierart ausgerottet, die für die Entwicklung des Menschen von größter Bedeutung war, denn die von diesem Wildtier abstammenden Hausrinder haben zweifellos unsere menschliche Kultur bis heute beeinflußt.
Schon vor mehr als 25 Jahren entstand bei meinem Bruder HEINZ HECK und mir die Frage, ob es möglich wäre, aus heute lebenden Rinderrassen den Auerochsen wieder neu zu züchten....
Gene flow between insular, coastal and interior populations of brown bears in Alaska.
Molecular Ecology 7(10): 1283-1292. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-294x.1998.00440.x
The brown bears of coastal Alaska have been recently regarded as comprising from one to three distinct genetic groups. We sampled brown bears from each of the regions for which hypotheses of genetic uniqueness have been made, including the bears of the Kodiak Archipelago and the bears of Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof (ABC) Islands in southeast Alaska. These samples were analysed with a suite of nuclear microsatellite markers. The ‘big brown bears’ of coastal Alaska were found to be part of the continuous continental distribution of brown bears, and not genetically isolated from the physically smaller ‘grizzly bears’ of the interior. By contrast, Kodiak brown bears appear to have experienced little or no genetic exchange with continental populations in recent generations. The bears of the ABC Islands, which have previously been shown to undergo little or no female‐mediated gene flow with mainland populations, were found not to be genetically isolated from mainland bears. The data from the four insular populations indicate that female and male dispersal can be reduced or eliminated by water barriers of 2–4 km and 7km in width, respectively.
Validation of Cercopithecus erythrogaster pococki as the name for the Nigerian white-throated guenon.
Mammalia 63 (3): 389-392.
Die Autoren validieren den Nemen Cercopithecus erythrogaster pococki für die nigerianische Unterart der Rotbauchmeerkatze. Der Name Cercopithecus pococki war von John Guy DOLLMAN im frühen 20. Jahrhundert eingeführt worden, allerdings ohne dass dieser die Form beschrieben hätte. 1927 wurde der Name publiziert, jedoch nicht in einer Form, dass er nach den taxonomischen Regeln "verfügbar" gewesen wäre. Dies wurde von den Autoren 1999 nachgeholt.
Cranial morphometric and evolutionary relationships in the northern range of Ovis canadensis.
J. of Mammalogy, 81(1):145-161 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1644/1545-1542(2000)081<0145:CMAERI>2.0.CO;2
Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to examine geographic variation in skull and horn characters of 694 bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) specimens from the Great Basin north to British Columbia and Alberta to test previous taxonomic hypotheses. Substantially more morphometric variation in skull and horn size and shape was found west of the Rocky Mountains than within the Rocky Mountains. Our results did not support the recognition of Audubon's bighorn sheep (O. c. auduboni) as a subspecies separate from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (O. c. canadensis). California bighorn sheep (O. c. californiana) from Washington and British Columbia were not distinguishable from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep but differed notably from populations in the Sierra Nevada considered part of that subspecies. Extirpated native populations from northeastern California, Oregon, and southwestern Idaho, also considered to be O. c. californiana, shared with Nelson bighorn sheep (O. c. nelsoni) from the Great Basin desert a horn-related character that distinguished them from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep from the Sierra Nevada were found to be distinguishable from those of the adjacent Great Basin region. Our morphometric results were concordant in geographic patterns with mtDNA data. We synonymize O. c. auduboni with O. c. canadensis. We also assign extant and extinct native populations of O. c. californiana from British Columbia and Washington to O. c. canadensis. Finally, we assign the extinct native populations of O. c. californiana from Oregon, southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada, and northeastern California to the Great Basin Desert form of O. c. nelsoni, recognizing that some transition to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep probably occurred along that northern boundary. With these taxonomic revisions, the range of O. c. californiana includes only the central and southern Sierra Nevada.
Taxonomy of ungulates of the Indian subcontinent.
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 100 (2/3): 341-362.
Nach dieser Publikation gibt es auf dem Indischen Subkontinent 46 Huftierarten, von denen Equus hemionus, Rhinoceros sondaicus und Bos javanicus hier vermutlich ausgestorben sind. Dies schließt folgende Taxa ein, die von Unterarten zu vollen Arten erhoben werden: Equus khur, Moschus cupreus, Muntiacus vaginalis, Cervus wallichii, Cervus hanglu und Capricornis thar. Gazella,bennettii salinarum wird als neue Unterart beschrieben und von Tetracerus quadricornis werden drei Unterarten unter bereits bestehenden Namen anerkannt.
A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies.
Manimalia 62 (3): 367-396.
A systematic revision of monotremes of the genus Zaglossus has revealed unexpected morphological diversity. Statistical and non-metric analysis indicate that three species can be recognised: Zaglossus bruijnii (Peters and Doria, 1876), which inhabits the Vogelkop, Fak Fak and possibly the Charles Louis Mountains regions; Zaglossus bartoni Thomas, 1907a, which occurs on the central cordillera between the Paniai Lakes and the Nanneau Range, as well as the Huon Peninsula ; and Zaglossus Attenboroughi n. sp. from the Cyclops Mountains. Four distinct subspecies of Z. bartoni can be discerned. The three subspecies inhabiting the central cordillera increase in size from east to west: Z. b. smcenki n. ssp. of the Nanneau Range being the smallest, the nominotypical form intermediate in size, and Z. b. diamond n. ssp. the largest. Zaglossus b. clunius inhabits the Huon Peninsula.
Life on high: The diversity of small mammals at high altitude in South Africa.
Biodiversity and Conservation 21 (21): 960-31152823. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-012-0340-0.
The Great Escarpment is the major mountain system in South Africa, yet very few biological surveys have been conducted outside of the well-known Drakensberg section. This is surprising given the important role that mountains play in local and global biodiversity patterns. In this study, small mammal diversity and community composition were estimated at three high altitude (>1,700 m) sites within the Sneeuberg Mountain Complex (SMC) of the Great Escarpment, South Africa from June 2009 to May 2010. The influences of selected environmental variables on diversity were also tested. Of 423 live-captures, a total of 292 unique individuals of 12 small mammal species (one shrew, one elephant shrew and 10 rodents) were identified during 5,280 trap nights. No single environmental variable could account for the variation observed in diversity measurements but vegetation height appeared to be the most important factor to influence the number of individuals captured. It is hypothesised that the high species richness and diversity of small mammals observed in the SMC compared to other parts of the Great Escarpment is due to the SMC being located in a transition zone of the Grassland and Nama-Karoo biomes. Our results suggest that the SMC could be important in conserving small mammal species from western and eastern assemblages across South Africa.
Coastal Dune Forest Rehabilitation:A Case Study on Rodent and Bird Assemblages in Northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
In: Coastal Dunes: pp.103-115. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74002-5_7 .
Coastal dune forests in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, are continually exposed to natural and man-induced disturbances that usually initiate ecological succession (van Aarde et al. 1996a; Mentis and Ellery 1994). This succession is associated with temporal and spatial changes in vegetation structure that influence habitat suitability and ultimately the structure of vertebrate communities living there. For example, in the case of birds, we know from studies conducted elsewhere that species richness and diversity correlates with vegetation structural heterogeneity (see Kritzinger and van Aarde 1998 for references).Vegetation succession is also known to affect small mammals (Foster and Gaines 1991), though the patterns recorded in coastal dune forests are less obvious than those for birds (see Ferreira and van Aarde 1999 for references).
Taxonomic revision of the pampas cat Leopardus colocola complex (Carnivora: Felidae): an integrative approach.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
The pampas cat Leopardus colocola has been subject to conflicting classifications over the years. Currently, one polytypic species with seven subspecies is recognized, but integrative taxonomic study for this debated group has never been done. Here, we combine the broadest morphological coverage of the pampas cat to date with molecular data and ecological niche models to clarify its species composition and test the validity of recently proposed subspecies. The multiple lines of evidence derived from morphology, molecular, biogeography and climatic niche datasets converged on the recognition of five monotypic species: L. braccatus, L. colocola, L. garleppi (including thomasi, budini, steinbachi, crespoi and wolffsohni as synonyms), L. munoai and L. pajeros (including crucina as synonym). These five species are morphologically diagnosable based on skin and skull traits, have evolved in distinct climatic niche spaces and were recovered in molecular species delimitation. Contrary to previous taxonomic arrangements, we do not recognize subspecies in pampas cats. To objectively define the two most controversial species, we designate neotypes for L. colocola and L. pajeros. The diversification of pampas cats is associated with Middle Pleistocene glaciations, but additional genetic samples from the central Andean region are still needed to conclusively reconstruct its evolutionary history.