Chapter

Results and Discussion

Yuri. L. R. Leite

in Evolution and Systematics of the Atlantic Tree Rats, Genus Phyllomys (Rodentia, Echimyidae), With Description of Two New Species

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520098497
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916074 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098497.003.0003
Results and Discussion

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It is possible to modernize some events in the biogeographic history of Phyllomys using the phylogenetic results based on cyt b sequences. The molecular clock was unfortunately rejected when likelihood ratio tests were applied to the relationships within Phyllomys, therefore preventing date estimates. However, the split between Phyllomys and Echimys probably took place during the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene. Within Phyllomys, the oldest episode is the nearly simultaneous separation between a lowland coastal clade (P. pattoni), the high-elevation P. mantiqueirensis, and the common ancestor of the remaining forms that took place in the Late Pliocene. The tectonic, climatic, and vegetation changes in eastern Brazil also address the Pliocene that set the stage for the diversification of the Atlantic tree rats. An important component in this context is the history of the seasonally dry forests, usually neglected in discussions of vegetation changes in the Quaternary.

Keywords: Phylogenetic; Echimys; P. pattoni; Brazil; Pliocene

Chapter.  23751 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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