Coupled and unidirectional geographical variability of the shape of the mandible in three shrew species of the genus Sorex (araneus, caecutiens, and minutus) has been revealed in a geometric morphometrics-based parallel comparison of cenopopulations forming the Ilmen’ (Southern Urals) and Kytlym (Northern Urals) taxocenes. Mandible centroid size (CS) was significantly larger and significantly more varied in all northern cenopopulations as compared to the southern ones. Discriminant analysis of Procrustes coordinates of the mandible shape in shrews of the southern and northern taxocenes without taking the animal species into account resulted in 94.8% correct assignment of the individuals to local taxocenes. Mandible allometry was detected in the northern cenopopulations of Laxmann’s (caecutiens) and pygmy (minutus) shrews, but not in the southern cenopopulations. Parallelism of geographical variation and high reliability of discrimination between individuals from the southern and northern taxocenes was preserved when the allometric effect was eliminated. The absence of association of this reaction to allometry provides direct proof for similar morphogenetic reactions of these species to climate change in the northern latitudes, and high potential for coevolutionary changes common to all sympatric species of the taxocene.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 24, 2015
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