Pleistocene glaciations had significant effects on the distribution and evolution of arctic species. We focus on these effects in Nearctic Beringia, a high-latitude ice-free refugium in northwest Canada and Alaska, by examining variation in mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) sequences to elucidate phylogeographic relationships and identify times of evolutionary divergence in arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii). This arctic-adapted species provides an excellent model to examine the biogeographic history of the Nearctic due to its extensive subspecific variation and long evolutionary history in the region. Four geographically distinct clades are identified within this species and provide a framework for exploring patterns of biotic diversification and evolution within the region. Phylogeographic analysis and divergence estimates are consistent with a glacial vicariance hypothesis. Estimates of genetic and population divergence suggest that differentiation within Nearctic S. parryii occurred as early as the Kansan glaciation. Timing of these divergence events clusters around the onset of the Kansan, Illinoian, and Wisconsin glaciations, supporting glacial vicariance, and suggests that S. parryii survived multiple glacial periods in Nearctic Beringia. Across the Arctic, Beringia has been identified as an important regional refugium for a number of species. Within Nearctic Beringia, genetic differentiation across populations of arctic ground squirrels further reflects the effect of glacial patterns on a finer scale. The arctic ground squirrel has had a long evolutionary history in the Nearctic, with strong phylogeographic structure and stable clades persisting through multiple glacial cycles.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.