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Potential mammalian species for investigating the past connections between Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest
Arielli Fabrício Machado et al. PLoS One. 2021.
Free PMC article
Much evidence suggests that Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest were connected through at least three dispersion routes in the past: the Eastern route, the central route, and the Western route. However, few studies have assessed the use of these routes based on multiple species. Here we present a compilation of mammal species that potentially have dispersed between the two forest regions and which may serve to investigate these connections. We evaluate the present-day geographic distributions of mammals occurring in both Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest and the likely connective routes between these forests. We classified the species per habitat occupancy (strict forest specialists, species that prefer forest habitat, or generalists) and compiled the genetic data available for each species. We found 127 mammalian species presently occurring in both Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest for which, substantial genetic data was available. Hence, highlighting their potential for phylogeographic studies investigating the past connections between the two forests. Differently from what was previously proposed, the present-day geographic distribution of mammal species found in both Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest points to more species in the eastern portion of the dry diagonal (and adjoining forested habitats). The Central route was associated with the second most species. Although it remains to be seen how this present-day geography reflects the paleo dispersal routes, our results show the potential of using mammal species to investigate and bring new insights about the past connections between Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Fig 1 Distribution of tropical moist forests…
Fig 2. Overlap in mammal species distributions…
Fig 3. Number of mammalian species assumed…
Fig 4. Availability of genetic data for…
Fig 5. Availability of genetic data by…
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Grant support
AFM was supported by a doctoral fellowship (grant 141008/2016-4) provided by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). LD is a member of the National Institute for Science and Technology (INCT) in Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation, supported by MCTIC/CNPq (proc. 465610/2014-5) and FAPEG (proc. 201810267000023)., LD and MJRP were supported by CNPq Productivity Fellowships (grants 307527/2018-2 and 311297/2018-8). CDR thanks the financial support from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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