Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/112330
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Type: Journal article
Title: The taxonomic status of Mazama bricenii and the significance of the Táchira Depression for mammalian endemism in the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela
Author: Gutiérrez, E.
Maldonado, J.
Radosavljevic, A.
Molinari, J.
Patterson, B.
Martínez-C, J.
Rutter, A.
Hawkins, M.
Garcia, F.
Helgen, K.
Citation: PLoS ONE, 2015; 10(6):e0129113-1-e0129113-24
Publisher: PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1932-6203
1932-6203
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Eliécer E. Gutiérrez, Jesús E. Maldonado, Aleksandar Radosavljevic, Jesús Molinari, Bruce D. Patterson, Juan M. Martínez-C., Amy R. Rutter, Melissa T. R. Hawkins, Franger J. Garcia, Kristofer M. Helgen
Abstract: We studied the taxonomy and biogeography of Mazama bricenii, a brocket deer classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, drawing on qualitative and quantitative morphology and sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. We used Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) to evaluate the hypothesis that M. bricenii of the Venezuelan Cordillera de Mérida (CM) might have become isolated from populations of its putative sister species, Mazama rufina, in the Colombian Cordillera Oriental (CO). This hypothesis assumes that warm, dry climatic conditions in the Táchira Depression were unsuitable for the species. Our analyses did not reveal morphological differences between specimens geographically attributable to M. bricenii and M. rufina, and phylogenetic analyses of molecular data recovered M. bricenii nested within the diversity of M. rufina. These results indicate that M. bricenii should be regarded as a junior synonym of M. rufina. ENM analyses revealed the existence of suitable climatic conditions for M. rufina in the Táchira Depression during the last glacial maximum and even at present, suggesting that gene flow between populations in the CO and CM may have occurred until at least the beginning of the current interglacial period and may continue today. Because this pattern might characterize other mammals currently considered endemic to the CM, we examined which of these species match two criteria that we propose herein to estimate if they can be regarded as endemic to the CM with confidence: (1) that morphological or molecular evidence exists indicating that the putative endemic taxon is distinctive from congeneric populations in the CO; and (2) that the putative endemic taxon is restricted to either cloud forest or páramo, or both. Only Aepeomys reigi, Cryptotis meridensis, and Nasuella meridensis matched both criteria; hence, additional research is necessary to assess the true taxonomic status and distribution of the remaining species thought to be CM endemics.
Keywords: Cytochromes b
Rights: This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication
RMID: 0030065445
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129113
Appears in Collections:Geology & Geophysics publications

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