Phylogeography and ecological niche modeling unravel the evolutionary history of the Yarkand hare, Lepus yarkandensis (Mammalia: Leporidae), through the Quaternary.


Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, People's Republic of China. [Email]


The Taklimakan Desert in China is characterized by unique geological and historical dynamics and endemic flora and fauna, but the influence of historical climate oscillations on the evolutionary history of endemic animals is poorly understood. Lepus yarkandensis is an oases-dependent Near Threatened species that lives in fragmented oasis habitats in the Taklimakan Desert, China. We investigated the geological and climatic impacts on its geographical differentiation, demographic history and influence of Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles on the evolutionary history of L. yarkandensis. Further, studied the impact of climatic oscillation based modification on phylogeography, distribution and diversification pattern of Yarkand hare by using Cytb (1140 bp), MGF (592 bp) and SPTBN1 (619 bp) markers. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) revealed the evolutionary history of this species in response to climate change during the Quaternary. Paleodistribution modeling was used to identify putative refugia and estimate their historical distributions.


Arid Northwest China,Climate oscillations,Historical demography,Oasis change,Range shift,Taklimakan Desert,Yarkand hare,

OUR Recent Articles