Diversification of old world bats in Southeast Asia: speciation and phylogeographic studies
Southeast Asia is known for remarkable mammal species diversity; having both, dynamic geological and climatic changes to shaped much of the regions diversity. Bats of Southeast Asia that are commonly distributed across Southeast Asia provided a unique opportunity to test for species boundaries, and investigate the mode and tempo of diversification. Study on the genus Kerivoula and Hipposideros document multiple genetic lineages that may warrant species level status. Further, identification of these genetic lineages through stochastic coalescent approach yielded similar result as those identified through proposed mammalian genetic threshold. In both groups studied here the use of multiple datasets appears to be critical in resolving evolutionary relationship and providing perspectives from gene trees based on different genetic marker. Although, in the case of Hipposideros, deeper maternal divergences among geographically isolated population are characterized by unique echolocation calls, data from nuclear gene indicates recent gene flow in some species studied. Comparison of phylogeographic structuring of species studied here generally correlates with the Pleistocene epoch, during when sea level fluctuation increase in intensity and frequency. Documentation of isolated refugia in Borneo and strong support for zoogeographic boundary at Isthmus of Kra, highlights the importance of future studies in this island and area to document conspecifics that have recently speciated. Biogeographic reconstruction in the genus Hipposideros highlights the major role of Sunda Shelf (Asia) as the center of origin of species that diversified into Philippines, Wallacea and Australian continent.