Russian Journal of Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 332-338

First online:

Holarctic Collared Lemmings: Traces of Their Spread as Related to the History of the Arctic Biota

  • N. G. SmirnovAffiliated withInstitute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , V. B. FedorovAffiliated withUniversity of Alaska Museum

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Among recent lemmings (D. torquatus from the Yamal Peninsula and D. groenlandicus from Somerset, Bathurst, Melville, and Devon islands), there are populations with archaic sets of morphotypes characteristic of the end of the Late Pleistocene. In some parts of the species range, lemming morphotypes follow the pattern characteristic of the Holocene stage of their evolution. Lemmings with the best developed tooth system live in the Bering Sea sector of the Arctic (Wrangel Island, Chukotka and Alaska). The correspondence of the boundaries of the groups distinguished by odontological traits to the phylogeographic data on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and chromosomal groups is discussed.

collared lemmings Arctic biota tooth system mtDNA