This manuscript is dedicated to our friend and colleague Peter Arctander, who retired from his position as professor at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, in 2011. Peter initiated DNA laboratories in Copenhagen and at Makerere University, Uganda, which is still very active today. He pioneered phylogeographic research on African ungulates, devoting so much effort to developing the infrastructure necessary to achieve many of the studies that form the basis of this review; his major contributions to the field will be appreciated for many years.
INVITED REVIEWS AND META-ANALYSES
Comparative phylogeography of African savannah ungulates1
Article first published online: 15 JUN 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 21, Issue 15, pages 3656–3670, August 2012
How to Cite
LORENZEN, E. D., HELLER, R. and SIEGISMUND, H. R. (2012), Comparative phylogeography of African savannah ungulates. Molecular Ecology, 21: 3656–3670. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05650.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 15 JUN 2012
- Received 3 February 2012; revision received 5 April 2012; accepted 18 April 2012
- comparative phylogeography;
- regional structuring;
- savannah biome;
- Sub-Saharan Africa;
The savannah biome of sub-Saharan Africa harbours the highest diversity of ungulates (hoofed mammals) on Earth. In this review, we compile population genetic data from 19 codistributed ungulate taxa of the savannah biome and find striking concordance in the phylogeographic structuring of species. Data from across taxa reveal distinct regional lineages, which reflect the survival and divergence of populations in isolated savannah refugia during the climatic oscillations of the Pleistocene. Data from taxa across trophic levels suggest distinct savannah refugia were present in West, East, Southern and South-West Africa. Furthermore, differing Pleistocene evolutionary biogeographic scenarios are proposed for East and Southern Africa, supported by palaeoclimatic data and the fossil record. Environmental instability in East Africa facilitated several spatial and temporal refugia and is reflected in the high inter- and intraspecific diversity of the region. In contrast, phylogeographic data suggest a stable, long-standing savannah refuge in the south.