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History, ocean channels, and distance determine phylogeographic patterns in three widespread Philippine fruit bats (Pteropodidae)



    1. University of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, 1025 E. 57th St., Culver Hall 402, Chicago, IL 60637,
    2. Field Museum of Natural History, Division of Mammals and Pritzker Laboratory, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
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Trina Roberts, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Mammalogy Department, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA. Fax: 907 474 5712; E-mail:


The comparative phylogeography of widespread, codistributed species provides unique insights into regional biodiversity and diversification patterns. I used partial DNA sequences of the mitochondrial genes ND2 and cyt b to investigate phylogeographic structure in three widespread Philippine fruit bats. Ptenochirus jagori is endemic to the oceanic region of the Philippines and is most abundant in lowland primary forest. Macroglossus minimus and Cynopterus brachyotis are most common in disturbed and open habitats and are not endemic. In all three, genetic differentiation is present at multiple spatial scales and is associated to some degree with Pleistocene landbridge island groups. In P. jagori and C. brachyotis, genetic distance is correlated with geographic distance; in C. brachyotis and M. minimus, it is correlated with the sea-crossing distance between islands. P. jagori has the least overall genetic structure of these three species, whereas C. brachyotis and M. minimus have more geographic association among haplotypes, suggesting that phylogeographic patterns are linked to ecology and habitat preference. However, contrary to expectation, the two widespread, disturbed habitat species have more structure than the endemic species. Mismatch distributions suggest rapid changes in effective population size in C. brachyotis and P. jagori, whereas M. minimus appears to be demographically more stable. Geologic and geographic history are important in structuring variation, and phylogeographic patterns are the result of dynamic long-term processes rather than simply reflecting current conditions.