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Russian Journal of Theriology

Reconstruction of the postglacial colonization of Sorex araneus into northern Scandinavia based on karyotype studies, and the subdivision of the Abisko race into three // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.6. No.1: 8596 [in English].

ABSTRACT. To clarify the number, distribution and origin of chromosome races of common shrews in northern Scandinavia, 117 specimens were karyotyped from 12 new localities, six in Sweden and six in Norway. Including previous investigations, altogether 257 specimens from 26 localities in northern Fennoscandia have been analysed. Inspection of this complete dataset shows that the Abisko chromosome race, which occupies a wide range in northern Scandinavia, should be subdivided into three races: Abisko (Ai) in the north, Ammarns (Am) in the centre, and Hattsj (Ha) in the south. The characteristics of these races and their distributions are described. The colonization of small mammals into northern Scandinavia is closely associated with the history of deglaciation. Most likely, common shrews of the Abisko race were the first to spread westwards along the northern coast of Norway. Later, when the ice and water had disappeared from northern Sweden, a new and wider immigration route from the east was opened for shrews of the Ammarns race. Another possibility is that northern Sweden and Norway were colonized from the west by shrews which had survived the last glaciation on the isle of Andya in northwest Norway. The Hattsj race, located between the Ammarns and Sidensj races, may be regarded as a hybrid race. KEY WORDS: Sorex araneus, chromosome races, colonization history, Scandinavia.