Data from: Endemic species may have complex histories: within-refugium phylogeography of an endangered Iberian vole
Barbosa, Soraia et al. (2016), Data from: Endemic species may have complex histories: within-refugium phylogeography of an endangered Iberian vole, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9fc86
Glacial refugia protected and promoted biodiversity during the Pleistocene, not only at a broader scale, but also for many endemics that contracted and expanded their ranges within refugial areas. Understanding the evolutionary history of refugial endemics is especially important in the case of endangered species to recognise the origins of their genetic structure and thus produce better informed conservation practices. The Iberian Peninsula is an important European glacial refugium, rich in endemics of conservation concern, including small mammals, such as the Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae). This near-threatened rodent is characterised by an unusual suite of genetic, life history and ecological traits, being restricted to isolated geographic nuclei in fast-disappearing Mediterranean sub-humid herbaceous habitats. To reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Cabrera vole, we studied sequence variation at mitochondrial, autosomal and sex-linked loci, using invasive and noninvasive samples. Despite low overall mitochondrial and nuclear nucleotide diversities, we observed two main well-supported mitochondrial lineages, west and east. Phylogeographic modelling in the context of the Cabrera vole's detailed fossil record, supports a demographic scenario of isolation of two populations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) from a single focus in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, our data suggests subsequent divergence within the east, and secondary contact and introgression of the expanding western population, during the late Holocene. This work emphasises that refugial endemics may have a phylogeographic history as rich as that of more widespread species, and conservation of such endemics includes the preservation of that genetic legacy.