Miniopterine zoogeography has proved to be a difficult subject because of the geographical range of many species and the subtle nature of morphological differences between species. Recent applications of multivariate morphometric methods and genetic analysis have shown subspecific differences between two groups of populations of Miniopterus schreibersii in southeast Australia. However, these studies have not considered the role phenotypic responses to local environmental conditions (particularly local climate regimes) might have on the morphology of populations. In this study, I examined the relationship between skeletal morphology, geographical separation between samples, and climate. I found that the ranges of the two subspecies correspond to regions experiencing very distinct climatic regimes, the two subspecies differ in morphology, and morphological difference between samples is correlated with their geographical proximity but the relationship is complex. These results suggest local environmental conditions may have played a role in determining both morphological and genetic differences among populations of M. schreibersii.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|