Habitat stability shaped the demographic history of the Atlantic Forest endemic rodent Euryoryzomys russatus (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) during the Pleistocene

Edson Fiedler Abreu, Jeronymo Dalapicolla, Paulo Roberto Furini, Noé U. de la Sancha, Sharon A. Jansa, Alexandre Reis Percequillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The oryzomyine rodent Euryzoryzomys russatus is endemic to the Atlantic Forest of South America, where it inhabits mostly pristine humid forests. Previous phylogeographical studies performed with limited sample sizes indicated that rivers and climatic oscillations might have driven the diversification of this species. Here, we used a more comprehensive database to revisit the phylogeography and demographic history of E. russatus. Our phylogenetic inferences and haplotype network recovered four groups within E. russatus, each of which diversified between 0.33 and 0.60 Mya. These groups are mostly allopatric and are structured latitudinally along the Atlantic Forest. We did not detect any genetic break related to the major river drainages. Species distribution models recovered similar suitable areas for E. russatus in the present and past times, suggesting stability in the geographical range during the Pleistocene. The most pronounced change was the expansion of suitable areas onto the emerged continental shelf during the Last Glacial Maximum. Demographic analyses showed evidence of population expansion during periods of lowered seal levels, especially for the haplogroup associated with the Serra do Mar forest refuge. Therefore, our results failed to support the hypothesis of riverine barriers and suggest that the diversification of E. russatus is explained better by forest refugial processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-535
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to curators and staff of scientific collections who provided us with tissue or DNA samples preserved under their care: Renato Gregorin and Marcelo Passamani (CMUFLA); Miguel T. Rodrigues (MTR); Sérgio Althoff (FURB); Bruce Patterson and Adam Ferguson (FMNH); Alexandre Christoff (MCNU); Mario de Vivo and Juliana Barros (MZUSP); Heath Garner, Robert Bradley and Caleb Phillips (TTU); James Patton and Christopher Conroy (MVZ); Jorge Cherem and Edmundo Grisard (UFSC); and Ulyses Pardiñas (UP personal collection). We thank Lorissa Fujishin, who provided laboratory support; Joyce R. Prado, who read a first draft of the manuscript and provided analytical support; and Paulo R. O. Roth for allowing us to use the photograph of E. russatus displayed in . We also thank the reviewers (Ana L. Almendra and an anonymous reviewer) for the careful evaluation and suggestions that certainly helped to improve this contribution. This study had financial support from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) under grants 2010/14633-7 and 2012/15928-6 to E.F.A., 15/02853-6 and 16/24464-4 to J.D. and 2009/16009-1 to A.R.P.; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES); and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). E.F.A. is currently supported by the Gerstner Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, and J.D. is supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from Instituto Tecnólogico Vale, Desenvolvimento Sustentável. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Cytb
  • Oryzomyini
  • climatic fluctuation
  • forest refuge
  • genetic diversity
  • riverine barriers
  • rodents
  • southern Atlantic Forest


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