Background. Various mechanisms such as geographic barriers and glacial episodes have been proposed as determinants of intra-specific and inter-specific differentiation of populations, and the distribution of their genetic diversity. More recently, habitat and climate differences, and corresponding adaptations have been shown to be forces influencing the phylogeographic evolution of some vertebrates. In this study, we examined the contribution of these various factors on the genetic differentiation of the bent-winged bat, Miniopterus schreibersii, in southeastern Europe and Anatolia. Results and conclusion. Our results showed differentiation in mitochondrial DNA coupled with weaker nuclear differentiation. We found evidence for restriction of lineages to geographical areas for hundreds of generations. The results showed that the most likely ancestral haplotype was restricted to the same geographic area (the Balkans) for at least 6,000 years. We were able to delineate the migration routes during the population expansion process, which followed the coasts and the inland for different nested mitochondrial clades. Hence, we were able to describe a scenario showing how multiple biotic and abiotic events including glacial periods, climate and historical dispersal patterns complemented each other in causing regional and local differentiation within a species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics