Phylogeographic analysis of Anatolian bats highlights the importance of the region for preserving the Chiropteran mitochondrial genetic diversity in the Western Palaearctic

Coraman E., Furman A., Karatas A., Bilgin R.

CONSERVATION GENETICS, vol.14, no.6, pp.1205-1216, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10592-013-0509-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1205-1216
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Identification of intraspecific conservation units and incorporating the distribution of genetic diversity into management plans are crucial requirements for assessing effective protection strategies. This study investigates the phylogeographic structures of 33 bat species present in the Near East in order to evaluate the conservation implications of their intraspecific genetic diversity both at regional and large-scale levels. To compare Anatolian populations with the European ones, we utilized two commonly used mitochondrial markers, Cytb and ND1, and analysed them together with the available sequences from GenBank. The management requirements of the identified clades and their taxonomical relations were evaluated by analysing their distributions and the levels of their genetic differentiations. In 12 species and the large Myotis complex, we identified a total of 15 genetically distinct populations found in the Near East, some of which might represent biologically distinct taxa. Comparing the phylogeographic patterns of different taxa indicates that three regions, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the southern Anatolia, harbour genetically divergent populations and should have higher priority in conservation practices. Considering that Turkey has one of the richest bat fauna in the Mediterranean region and the Anatolian populations of various species are genetically distinct, protecting populations in Turkey is critically important for preserving the genetic diversity of the bats in the Western Palaearctic. Both regional and large-scale conservation strategies, which incorporate the distribution of genetic diversity, should be assessed and further ecological studies are needed to clarify the taxonomic relations of the identified clades.