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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2003 Mar;26(3):389-408.

Extensive mtDNA variation within the yellow-pine chipmunk, Tamias amoenus (Rodentia: Sciuridae), and phylogeographic inferences for northwest North America.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, PO Box 443051, Moscow, ID 83844-3051, USA.


The yellow-pine chipmunk, Tamias amoenus, is common in xerophytic forests throughout much of northwest North America. We analyzed cytochrome b sequence variation from 155 individuals representing 57 localities across the distribution of T. amoenus including 10 additional species of Tamias. Maximum likelihood and parsimony tree estimation methods were used in conjunction with nested clade analysis to infer both deep and population-level processes. Our results indicate that two currently recognized subspecies of T. amoenus (T. a. canicaudus and T. a. cratericus) are not nested within other samples of T. amoenus. Maximum uncorrected levels of intraspecific sequence divergence within remaining samples of T. amoenus are >7%. Substantial geographic variation is characterized by 12 well-supported clades that correspond to distinct mountain ranges, but do not necessarily follow existing subspecific taxonomy. Significant association between geography and genealogy was detected within many of these clades and can be attributed to different population-level processes including past fragmentation, recent range expansion, and isolation by distance.

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