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Diversity and distribution of freshwater amphipod species in Switzerland (Crustacea: Amphipoda)


Altermatt, Florian; Alther, Roman; Fišer, Cene; Jokela, Jukka; Konec, Marjeta; Küry, Daniel; Mächler, Elvira; Stucki, Pascal; Westram, Anja Marie (2014). Diversity and distribution of freshwater amphipod species in Switzerland (Crustacea: Amphipoda). PLoS ONE, 9(10):e110328.

Abstract

Amphipods are key organisms in many freshwater systems and contribute substantially to the diversity and functioning of macroinvertebrate communities. Furthermore, they are commonly used as bioindicators and for ecotoxicological tests. For many areas, however, diversity and distribution of amphipods is inadequately known, which limits their use in ecological and ecotoxicological studies and handicaps conservation initiatives. We studied the diversity and distribution of amphipods in Switzerland (Central Europe), covering four major drainage basins, an altitudinal gradient of>2,500 m, and various habitats (rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater). We provide the first provisional checklist and detailed information on the distribution and diversity of all amphipod species from Switzerland. In total, we found 29 amphipod species. This includes 16 native and 13 non-native species, one of the latter (Orchestia cavimana) reported here for the first time for Switzerland. The diversity is compared to neighboring countries. We specifically discuss species of the genus Niphargus, which are often receiving less attention. We also found evidence of an even higher level of hidden diversity, and the potential occurrence of further cryptic species. This diversity reflects the biogeographic past of Switzerland, and suggests that amphipods are ideally suited to address questions on endemism and adaptive radiations, post-glaciation re-colonization and invasion dynamics as well as biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in aquatic systems.

Abstract

Amphipods are key organisms in many freshwater systems and contribute substantially to the diversity and functioning of macroinvertebrate communities. Furthermore, they are commonly used as bioindicators and for ecotoxicological tests. For many areas, however, diversity and distribution of amphipods is inadequately known, which limits their use in ecological and ecotoxicological studies and handicaps conservation initiatives. We studied the diversity and distribution of amphipods in Switzerland (Central Europe), covering four major drainage basins, an altitudinal gradient of>2,500 m, and various habitats (rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater). We provide the first provisional checklist and detailed information on the distribution and diversity of all amphipod species from Switzerland. In total, we found 29 amphipod species. This includes 16 native and 13 non-native species, one of the latter (Orchestia cavimana) reported here for the first time for Switzerland. The diversity is compared to neighboring countries. We specifically discuss species of the genus Niphargus, which are often receiving less attention. We also found evidence of an even higher level of hidden diversity, and the potential occurrence of further cryptic species. This diversity reflects the biogeographic past of Switzerland, and suggests that amphipods are ideally suited to address questions on endemism and adaptive radiations, post-glaciation re-colonization and invasion dynamics as well as biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in aquatic systems.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 09:42
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 10:37
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0110328
PubMed ID:25354099

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