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mtDNA Phylogeny of Andean Mice: A Test of Diversification Across Ecological Gradients

James L. Patton and Margaret F. Smith
Evolution
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 174-183
DOI: 10.2307/2409812
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409812
Page Count: 10
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mtDNA Phylogeny of Andean Mice: A Test of Diversification Across Ecological Gradients
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Abstract

Parapatric speciation across sharp ecological gradients is an alternative to the more usual allopatric model as both a general explanation of organismal diversification and as an explicit statement regarding differentiation of tropical forest biotas (Endler, 1977, 1982a, 1982b). The relevance of this model to species of small mammals distributed across a 3,000 meter gradient on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes is examined here by phylogenetic analysis of comparative mitochondrial DNA sequences, relying on both freshly collected samples and extracts taken from skins preserved in museum collections. These analyses falsify the applicability of the gradient model in this case. Moreover, the phylogenetic approach employed here provides an explicit test of the feasibility of the gradient model for any other taxon, either plant or animal, of the lowland Amazonian forest.

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