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      Did the Romans introduce the Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) into the Iberian Peninsula?

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          Chronology, causes and progression of the Messinian salinity crisis

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            Identifying the source of species invasions: sampling intensity vs. genetic diversity.

            Population geneticists and community ecologists have long recognized the importance of sampling design for uncovering patterns of diversity within and among populations and in communities. Invasion ecologists increasingly have utilized phylogeographical patterns of mitochondrial or chloroplast DNA sequence variation to link introduced populations with putative source populations. However, many studies have ignored lessons from population genetics and community ecology and are vulnerable to sampling errors owing to insufficient field collections. A review of published invasion studies that utilized mitochondrial or chloroplast DNA markers reveals that insufficient sampling could strongly influence results and interpretations. Sixty per cent of studies sampled an average of less than six individuals per source population, vs. only 45% for introduced populations. Typically, far fewer introduced than source populations were surveyed, although they were sampled more intensively. Simulations based on published data forming a comprehensive mtDNA haplotype data set highlight and quantify the impact of the number of individuals surveyed per source population and number of putative source populations surveyed for accurate assignment of introduced individuals. Errors associated with sampling a low number of individuals are most acute when rare source haplotypes are dominant or fixed in the introduced population. Accuracy of assignment of introduced individuals is also directly related to the number of source populations surveyed and to the degree of genetic differentiation among them (F(ST)). Incorrect interpretations resulting from sampling errors can be avoided if sampling design is considered before field collections are made.
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              Phylogeographical footprints of the Strait of Gibraltar and Quaternary climatic fluctuations in the western Mediterranean: a case study with the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula (Mammalia: Soricidae).

              We used mitochondrial cyt b sequences to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Crocidura russula (sensu lato) populations across the Strait of Gibraltar, western Europe, Maghreb, and the Mediterranean and Atlantic islands. This revealed very low genetic divergence between European and Moroccan populations. The application of a molecular clock previously calibrated for shrews suggested that the separation of European from Moroccan lineages occurred less than 60 000 bp, which is at least 5 million years (Myr) after the reopening of the Strait of Gibraltar. This means that an overwater dispersal event was responsible for the observed phylogeographical structure. In contrast, genetic analyses revealed that Moroccan populations were highly distinct from Tunisian ones. According to the molecular clock, these populations separated about 2.2 million years ago (Ma), a time marked by sharp alternations of dry and humid climates in the Maghreb. The populations of the Mediterranean islands Ibiza, Pantelleria, and Sardinia were founded from Tunisian populations by overwater dispersal. In conclusion, overwater dispersal across the Strait of Gibraltar, probably assisted by humans, is possible for small terrestrial vertebrates. Moreover, as in Europe, Quaternary climatic fluctuations had a major effect on the phylogeographical structure of the Maghreb biota.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Science of Nature
                Sci Nat
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-1042
                1432-1904
                December 2018
                October 11 2018
                December 2018
                : 105
                : 11-12
                Article
                10.1007/s00114-018-1586-5
                © 2018

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