RESEARCH PAPER
Brown hares (Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778) from the Balkans: a refined phylogeographic model
 
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1
Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
2
Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, Kneza Višeslava 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
3
CIBIO/InBIO – Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources & Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Campus de Vairão 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
4
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Savoyenstrase 1, A-1160 Vienna, Austria
Online publish date: 2017-11-07
Publish date: 2018-01-02
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2017;28(2)
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ABSTRACT:
The contemporary geographical distribution and genetic structure of temperate species have been strongly influenced by the climatic oscillations during the Late Quaternary. As spatial genetic reconstructions are often markedly affected by geographically meaningful sample distributions, we focused in our study on the analyses of mtDNA control region sequences of brown hares from different regions in northern, central and south-central Balkans that have so far not been covered, with the aim to delineate the most likely glacial refugia wherefrom the postglacial northward expansion into central Europe has originated. Three major haplogroups (“Anatolia/Middle East”, "the Balkans", and “central Europe”) were revealed with apparent south-north gradual decrease in molecular diversity indices. Moreover, phylogenetic and demographic history analyses identified the southeastern central Balkans as the putative origin for most populations from the southern and northern Balkans, while populations from central and northwestern Europe have originated from the northern Balkans.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Milomir Stefanović   
Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914