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Taxonomy and systematics of species of the tribe Akodontini (Rodentia: Cricetidae) from western Brazil

Grant number: 19/05374-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Reis Percequillo
Grantee:Marcus Vinicius Brandão de Oliveira
Home Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Among the Sigmodontinae rodents, the tribe Akodontini represents the second largest in diversity, covering 16 genera and 85 species. Although widely distributed in South America, these rodents are absent trough most of Chile and southern Patagonia, and present a particular low diversity in Amazonia. The phylogenetic relationships of this tribe, as well as the delimitation of new genera and species, have been revealed through systematic revisions and recent molecular studies. However, for several taxa, a large part of the geographic coverage were not investigated yet. This is the case for Akodon and Thalpomys, genera that are phylogenetically close to each other, but with quite different diversification patterns: 38 valid species in Akodon and only two in Thalpomys. In Brazil this genera are present mainly in central and eastern regions, occupying Atlantic Forest and Cerrado areas, respectively. Nonetheless, there are records of these genera in western Brazil, in transitional areas between Cerrado, Pantanal and Amazonia. Conversely, specimens of such areas were rarely addressed in phylogenetic studies. This project aims to delimit, characterize and establish phylogenetic relations for Akodon and Thalpomys taxa that occur in western Brazil, using an integrative approach based on analysis of karyotypic, molecular and morphological data. The specimens from western Brazil will be compared to others from the geographic range of the referred genera, helping to increase knowledge on richness, diversification and biogeography of Akodontini in Brazil and South America, as well as the conservation of this transitional region, a poorly studied but very diverse area.