Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
First Committee Member
Brett Riddle, Chair
Second Committee Member
Dave J. Hafner
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Chad L. Cross
Number of Pages
Revealing how communities are shaped by abiotic and biotic factors plays a central role in biogeographic and comparative phylogeographic studies. The biogeography of North American arid grasslands is explored using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from three groups of heteromyid rodents that are broadly sympatric in aridlands across western North America. Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses are used to estimate the timing of divergences within each group. A general pattern of late Miocene divergence and expansion of lineages in each of the groups that is coincident with the rapid expansion of arid grasslands at the time. The initial divergence is followed by temporally and spatially concordant geographic diversification in recognized biogeographic and physiographic regions that corresponds to major climatic and tectonic events during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. The similarities and differences in the response of each taxon to proposed phylogeographic barriers are discussed.
Biogeography; Biotic communities; Grasslands; Heteromyidae; North America; Phylogeography; Rodents
Biology | Desert Ecology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Neiswenter, Sean A., "Phylogeography of three heteromyid taxa: Insight on the evolution of a North American arid grassland rodent guild" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1013.