Chapter

Mammalian Biogeography of Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego

Edited by Enrique P. Lessa, Guillermo D'Elía and Ulyses F. J. Pardiñas

in Bones, Clones, and Biomes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226649191
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226649214 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226649214.003.0016
Mammalian Biogeography of Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego

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The Patagonian–Fuegian region comprises areas of Argentinean monte, Patagonian steppe and grasslands, and Valdivian temperate and Magellanic sub polar forests. Although the area was affected by the glacial cycles of the Neogene, glacial sheets were typically much more limited in South America than in northern continents. This chapter reviews the distributional, phylogenetic, phylogeographic, and population genetic information on the composition and historical biogeography of mammals in the region. Although many species are likely relatively recent colonizers of the region, distributional and phylogenetic data provide several examples of endemic species and others that likely resulted from local diversification. Phylogeographic analyses provide additional indications of differentiation within the region. Phylogeographic breaks divide species distributions by latitude rather than between major habitats. Population genetic analyses reveal several cases of demographic expansion, all of which can be assigned to the late Pleistocene (i.e., the last 500,000 years). However, very few of these can be attributed to events postdating the Last Glacial Maximum. The current mammalian fauna of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego is the result of a complex mix of local fragmentation, differentiation, and colonization from lower latitudes.

Keywords: mammals; biogeography; phylogeography; habitats

Chapter.  7682 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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