This is the ﬁrst mitochondrial phylogeography of the common dormouse, Muscardinus avellanarius (Linnaeus,1758), a hibernating rodent strictly protected in Europe (Habitat Directive, annex IV; Bern Convention, annex III).The 84 individuals of M. avellanarius, sampled throughout the distributional range of the species, have beensequenced at the mitochondrial DNA gene (cytochrome b, 704 base pairs). The results revealed two highlydivergent lineages, with an ancient separation around 7.7 Mya and a genetic divergence of 7.7%. Lineage 1 occursin Western Europe (France, Belgium, and Switzerland) and Italy, and lineage 2 occurs in Central–Northern Europe(Poland, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania), on the Balkan Peninsula, and in Turkey. Furthermore, these twolineages are subdivided into ﬁve sublineages genetically isolated with a strong geographical association. Therefore,lineage 1 branches into two further sublineages (Western European and Italian), whereas lineage 2 contained threesublineages (Central–Northern European, Turkish, and Balkan). We observed low genetic diversity within thesublineages, in contrast to the signiﬁcant level of genetic differentiation between them. The understanding ofgenetic population structure is essential for identifying units to be conserved. Therefore, these results may haveimportant implications for M. avellanarius conservation.
|Numero di pagine||17|
|Rivista||Biological Journal of the Linnean Society|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2012|
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