Publication details

Cryptic diversity of the Gammarus fossarum species complex (Amphipoda) across Bohemian Massif and Western Carpathians: phylogeny and lineage distribution



Year of publication 2017
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Freshwater amphipods are ecologically important component of permanent benthic macrofauna in temperate freshwaters. However, virtually nothing was known about the phylogeographic patterns of this complex in the northeastern part of its range. Region of Czechia and Slovakia, with transition from the Bohemian Massif to the Western Carpathians, is a biogeographical boundary for plants and terrestrial invertebrates. We demonstrate on this gammarid species complex that it is the case also for permanent aquatic fauna, and that ancient lineages likely persisted in the Western Carpathians throughout the Pleistocene. We analysed lineage richness and distribution from G. fossarum samples collected from more than 170 localities across Czechia and Slovakia by molecular barcoding of mitochondrial genes; their phylogeny was assessed from representative samples by sequencing of two mitochondrial and three nuclear markers. Overall, we found eight divergent lineages of apparently Miocene age with contrasting patterns of distribution: most of the Bohemian Massif has been colonised by a single recently expanded western-European lineage, while all eight lineages are scattered in a mosaic fashion in the Western Carpathians. Two lineages found in this region but not known further south are phylogenetically basal with respect to the entire species complex. These observations are consistent with a scenario that Carpathians lineages survived the Pleistocene climatic oscillations in situ, possibly facilitated by thermally buffered mineral springs that may have provided suitable conditions even in dry cold periods of the glacials. Analyses of small-scale distribution of the Carpathian lineages in the Vsetín region confirms that they often penetrate to the same streams, and may coexist upon contact. This provides a suitable model system for studying their ecological interactions in the future.

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