A long‐standing Pleistocene refugium in southern Africa and a mosaic of refugia in East Africa: insights from mtDNA and the common eland antelope

  title={A long‐standing Pleistocene refugium in southern Africa and a mosaic of refugia in East Africa: insights from mtDNA and the common eland antelope},
  author={Eline D. Lorenzen and Charles Masembe and Peter Arctander and Hans R. Siegismund},
  journal={Journal of Biogeography},
Aim  Previous genetic studies of African savanna ungulates have indicated Pleistocene refugial areas in East and southern Africa, and recent palynological, palaeovegetation and fossil studies have suggested the presence of a long‐standing refugium in the south and a mosaic of refugia in the east. Phylogeographic analysis of the common eland antelope, Taurotragus oryx (Bovidae), was used to assess these hypotheses and the existence of genetic signatures of Pleistocene climate change. 

Comparative phylogeography of African savannah ungulates 1

Data from across taxa reveal distinct regional lineages, which reflect the survival and divergence of populations in isolated savannah refugia during the climatic oscillations of the Pleistocene, and suggest a stable, long‐standing savannah refuge in the south.

Evolutionary history of the roan antelope across its African range

This subject is addressed through a comprehensive assessment across the pan‐African range of the roan antelope, assessing whether climatic oscillations or natural physical barriers play a predominant role in the evolutionary history of the species.

Phylogeography of the fiscal shrike (Lanius collaris): a novel pattern of genetic structure across the arid zones and savannas of Africa

Aim  Savanna occupies a substantial part of Africa, being distributed around the two major tropical rain forest blocks in what is referred to as the Savanna Belt. Our current understanding of the

Genetic consequences of population expansions and contractions in the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) since the Late Pleistocene

This study investigates the Late Pleistocene history of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence variation and range‐wide sampling and documented a global demographic and spatial expansion approximately 0.1–0.3 Myr ago.

Pleistocene Aridification Cycles Shaped the Contemporary Genetic Architecture of Southern African Baboons

Diversification in the southern African chacma baboon Papio ursinus sensu lato is explored and a dominant role for increasingly arid landscapes during past glacial cycles in shaping contemporary genetic structure is revealed.

Biogeographic and Evolutionary Implications of an Extinct Late Pleistocene Impala from the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya

The Lake Victoria impala belongs to an extinct species that differs from modern impala and its fossil predecessors by a combination of exceptionally deep mandibles and teeth characterized by greater hypsodonty and occlusal lengths, suggesting a more dedicated adaptation to grazing in open and dry environments.

Genetic structure of the common impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) in South Africa: phylogeography and implications for conservation

Combination of the mtDNA data set with those of previous studies on impala from south-western, southern and eastern Africa revealed the highest diversity in South Africa, in line with the hypothesis of a southern glacial refuge from which various African ungulate species spread northeast during the Holocene.

A southern African origin and cryptic structure in the highly mobile plains zebra

Genome-wide data from all plains zebra subspecies reveal a population genetic structure at odds with morphology-based subspecies delineation, modern and ancient variation, and a probable southern African origin of all extant populations.

Plio-Pleistocene history and phylogeography of Acacia senegal in dry woodlands and savannahs of sub-Saharan tropical Africa: evidence of early colonisation and recent range expansion

The gum arabic tree (Acacia senegal) is an arid-adapted, morphologically diverse species native to the sub-Saharan drylands and variation in nuclear sequences and chloroplast DNA markers indicated a more recent origin for the clade including West and Central African haplotypes, suggesting range expansion in this region.

Historical demography and climatic niches of the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) in the Zambezian region

The Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) is the most widespread rodent species in sub-Saharan Africa, often studied as an agricultural pest and reservoir of viruses. Its mitochondrial (Mt)



Plio-Pleistocene African Climate

Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated.

The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo)

The results suggest that the modern lion may currently consist of three geographic populations on the basis of their recent evolutionary history: North African–Asian, southern African and middle African.

An exceptional case of historical outbreeding in African sable antelope populations

Nested clade analysis revealed that past allopatric fragmentation, caused probably by habitat discontinuities associated with the East African Rift Valley system, together with intermediary episodic long‐distance colonization and restricted, recurrent gene flow have played an predominant role in shaping the extent of maternal genetic diversity and population structure.

Population structure of African buffalo inferred from mtDNA sequences and microsatellite loci: high variation but low differentiation

  • Biology
    Molecular ecology
  • 1998
The observed pattern of the distribution of genetic variation between buffalo populations at the regional level can be caused by fragmentation of a previous panmictic population due to human activity, and at the continental level, reflects an effect of geographical distance between populations.

Three genetically divergent lineages of the Oryx in eastern Africa: Evidence for an ancient introgressive hybridization

Findings from partial mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b sequences of Oryx beisa analyzed are interpreted in terms of an ancient hybridization and introgression between two formerly isolated taxa of O. beisa.

Faunal change, environmental variability and late Pliocene hominin evolution.

It is concluded that climate change caused significant shifts in vegetation in the Omo paleo-ecosystem and is a plausible explanation for the gradual ecological change from forest to open woodland between 3.4 and 2.0 Ma.

African climate change and faunal evolution during the Pliocene-Pleistocene

Regional genetic structuring and evolutionary history of the impala Aepyceros melampus.

It is suggested that the presence of such previously unknown regional structuring within the subspecies reflects a pattern of colonization from a formerly large panmictic population in southern Africa toward east Africa, supported by a progressive decline in population diversity indices towardEast Africa and a significant increase in the quantity theta/(1 - theta).

Phylogeography and population structure of the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) inferred from variation in mitochondrial DNA sequences and microsatellite loci

Both mitochondrial and nuclear loci support the existence of the three warthog lineages, interpreted in terms of the large-scale climatic fluctuations of the Pleistocene.

Environmental change and rates of evolution: the phylogeographic pattern within the hartebeest complex as related to climatic variation

Observations strongly suggest that large–scale climatic fluctuations have been a major determinant for the species' evolutionary history and that hartebeest evolution has mainly taken place in isolated yet environmentally favourable refugia during periods of global warming.