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1 October 2004 PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF MASKED (SOREX CINEREUS) AND SMOKY SHREWS (SOREX FUMEUS) IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS
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Abstract

Sorex cinereus (masked shrew) and Sorex fumeus (smoky shrew) are syntopic species co-occurring in relict fragments of spruce–fir habitat on southern Appalachian mountaintops. We conducted phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of 20 high-elevation Sorex populations in 8 distinct boreal islands. Partial mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and D-loop) were compared with amplified fragment length polymorphism markers obtained by restriction of whole genomic DNA. The 2 species, though similar in morphology and ecological niche, have dissimilar phylogeographic patterns. S. cinereus, despite its more limited present-day southern Appalachian range, exhibits markedly less population structure than S. fumeus. What structure is present among masked shrew populations is randomized geographically, in contrast to a distinct association between genetic partitioning and geographic location among smoky shrew populations. Disparity in post-Pleistocene population densities of these species might be implicated in the discrepant patterns of phylogeographic structuring evident in their genomes as a result of historical vicariance. Although the metapopulations of both species exhibit genetic signatures consistent with continuous historical expansion, we believe that a localized catastrophic event induced a severe genetic bottleneck in Sorex populations at Whitetop Mountain, Virginia. This study contributes to a better understanding of the repercussions of boreal habitat fragmentation on the population dynamics and genetic diversity of associated vertebrate species.

Tavis W. Sipe and Robert A. Browne "PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF MASKED (SOREX CINEREUS) AND SMOKY SHREWS (SOREX FUMEUS) IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS," Journal of Mammalogy 85(5), (1 October 2004). https://doi.org/10.1644/214
Accepted: 1 October 2003; Published: 1 October 2004
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