Get access

Phylogeography of the Russian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans): implication of refugia theory in arboreal small mammal of Eurasia

Authors

  • TATSUO OSHIDA,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Ecology, Department of Biology, Tunghai University,Taichung, Taiwan 407, R.O.C.,
    2. Laboratory of Wildlife Ecology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro 080–8555, Japan,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • ALEXEI ABRAMOV,

    1. Laboratory of Mammals, Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Science, Saint-Petersburg, 199034, Russia,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • HISASHI YANAGAWA,

    1. Laboratory of Wildlife Ecology, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro 080–8555, Japan,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • RYUICHI MASUDA

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Genetic Diversity, Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
      Ryuichi Masuda, Fax: +81 11 706 3588; E-mail: masudary@ees.hokudai.ac.jp
    Search for more papers by this author

Ryuichi Masuda, Fax: +81 11 706 3588; E-mail: masudary@ees.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract

A phylogeographical study of the Russian (Siberian) flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) was carried out using the complete mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene sequences with special reference to the refugia theory for the arboreal traits of this species. We examined 31 specimens from 24 localities, resulting in 28 haplotypes. One breeding specimen with a unique haplotype from Hokkaido, Japan was included in the phylogenetic analysis. There were three mtDNA lineages: Hokkaido, Far Eastern, and northern Eurasia. Divergence data among lineages demonstrated that the Hokkaido group separated from the other groups during the Holsteinian interglacial. The phylogeographical pattern of P. volans is different from that previously reported for terrestrial rodents associated with treeless habitats. Unlike grasslands, forests decreased during glaciation and moved southward because of the cold and arid environmental conditions. The glacial refugia of P. volans would have been associated with forest dynamics in the Pleistocene.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary