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Effects of Pleistocene glaciations and rivers on the population structure of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)


Arora, N; Nater, A; van Schaik, C P; Willems, E P; van Noordwijk, M A; Morf, N; Krützen, M; et al (2010). Effects of Pleistocene glaciations and rivers on the population structure of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 107(50):21376-21381.

Abstract

Sundaland, a tropical hotspot of biodiversity comprising Borneo and Sumatra among other islands, the Malay Peninsula, and a shallow sea, has been subject to dramatic environmental processes. Thus, it presents an ideal opportunity to investigate the role of environmental mechanisms in shaping species distribution and diversity. We investigated the population structure and underlying
mechanisms of an insular endemic, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Phylogenetic reconstructions based on mtDNA sequences from 211 wild orangutans covering the entire range of the species indicate an unexpectedly recent common ancestor of Bornean orangutans 176 ka (95% highest posterior density, 72–322 ka), pointing to a Pleistocene refugium. High mtDNA differentiation among populations and rare haplotype sharing is consistent with a pattern of strong female philopatry. This is corroborated by
isolation by distance tests, which show a signi!cant correlation between mtDNA divergence and distance and a strong effect of rivers as barriers for female movement. Both frequency-based and Bayesian clustering analyses using as many as 25 nuclear microsatellite loci revealed a signi!cant separation among all populations, as well as a small degree of male-mediated gene "ow. This study highlights the unique effects of environmental and biological features on the evolutionary history of
Bornean orangutans, a highly endangered species particularly vulnerable to future climate and
anthropogenic change as an insular endemic.

Sundaland, a tropical hotspot of biodiversity comprising Borneo and Sumatra among other islands, the Malay Peninsula, and a shallow sea, has been subject to dramatic environmental processes. Thus, it presents an ideal opportunity to investigate the role of environmental mechanisms in shaping species distribution and diversity. We investigated the population structure and underlying
mechanisms of an insular endemic, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Phylogenetic reconstructions based on mtDNA sequences from 211 wild orangutans covering the entire range of the species indicate an unexpectedly recent common ancestor of Bornean orangutans 176 ka (95% highest posterior density, 72–322 ka), pointing to a Pleistocene refugium. High mtDNA differentiation among populations and rare haplotype sharing is consistent with a pattern of strong female philopatry. This is corroborated by
isolation by distance tests, which show a signi!cant correlation between mtDNA divergence and distance and a strong effect of rivers as barriers for female movement. Both frequency-based and Bayesian clustering analyses using as many as 25 nuclear microsatellite loci revealed a signi!cant separation among all populations, as well as a small degree of male-mediated gene "ow. This study highlights the unique effects of environmental and biological features on the evolutionary history of
Bornean orangutans, a highly endangered species particularly vulnerable to future climate and
anthropogenic change as an insular endemic.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:04 Feb 2011 09:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:42
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Additional Information:Copyright: National Academy of Sciences USA
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1073/pnas.1010169107
PubMed ID:21098261
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-44533

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