There is now considerable evidence for the survival of temperate species within glacial refugia that were situated at relatively high latitudes, notably the Carpathian Basin and Dordogne region in Europe. However, the prevalence of fossil remains in such locations is rarely matched by molecular evidence for their contribution to subsequent geographical and demographic expansion of the species in question. One obstacle to this has been insufficient analysis of modern samples from the relevant areas, in particular the parts of eastern Europe that surround the Carpathian refugium. In the present study, we examine the patterns of variation in mitochondrial DNA of the common vole (Microtus arvalis), obtained from existing museum specimens and from newly-collected samples obtained in this area. We show that common voles from one of six extant mitochondrial DNA lineages have colonized most of the species' range in eastern Europe. We contend that the post-glacial dispersal of this lineage most likely originated from the Carpathian refugium, adding support to the argument that such northern refugia made an important contribution to existing genetic diversity in Europe. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2015,
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