Cranial and mandibular shape variation in the genus Carollia (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Colombia: biogeographic patterns and morphological modularity.
PeerJ, August 2015
Camilo López-Aguirre, Jairo Pérez-Torres, Laura A. B. Wilson, López-Aguirre, Camilo, Pérez-Torres, Jairo, Wilson, Laura A B
Neotropical bats of the genus Carollia are widely studied due to their abundance, distribution and relevance for ecosystems. However, the ecomorphological boundaries of these species are poorly differentiated, and consequently correspondence between their geographic distribution, ecological plasticity and morphological variation remains unclear. In this study, patterns of cranial and mandibular morphological variation were assessed for Carollia brevicauda, C. castanea and C. perspicillata from Colombia. Using geometric morphometrics, morphological variation was examined with respect to: differences in intraspecific variation, morphological modularity and integration, and biogeographic patterns. Patterns of intraspecific variation were different for each species in both cranial and mandibular morphology, with functional differences apparent according to diet. Cranial modularity varied between species whereas mandibular modularity did not. High cranial and mandibular correlation reflects Cranium-Mandible integration as a functional unit. Similarity between the biogeographic patterns in C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata indicates that the Andes do not act as a barrier but rather as an independent region, isolating the morphology of Andean populations of larger-bodied species. The biogeographic pattern for C. castanea was not associated with the physiography of the Andes, suggesting that large body size does not benefit C. brevicauda and C. perspicillata in maintaining homogeneous morphologies among populations.
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