Unravelling the evolutionary history and future prospects of endemic species

We used an integrated approach, combining markers with different evolutionary rates and combining phylogenetic analysis with approximate Bayesian computation and species distribution modelling across temporal scales. We related phylogeographic processes to patterns of genetic variation in Myotis escalerai, a recently confirmed bat species, part of the nattereri cryptic species complex, that is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.

  • The evolutionary history of Myotis escalerai was shaped by the effects of climatic oscillations and changes in forest cover and composition, while its future is threatened by climatically induced range contractions and the role of interspecific competition in restricting its distribution.
  • We warn that Mediterranean peninsulas, which provided refuge for European biodiversity during past glaciation events, may become a trap for limited dispersal and ecologically limited endemic species under future climate change.

Razgour et al. 2015_Phylogeography Myotis escalerai