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Description of a widely distributed but overlooked amphipod species in the European Alps


Alther, Roman; Fišer, Cene; Altermatt, Florian (2017). Description of a widely distributed but overlooked amphipod species in the European Alps. Zoological journal of the Linnean Society, 179(4):751-766.

Abstract

Amphipods are keystone species in many freshwater ecosystems. Understanding their distribution and diversity is crucial to ensure and preserve freshwater ecosystem functioning, particularly in the northern hemisphere. For the European Alps information on amphipods has been relatively limited until recently. We describe a new, widely distributed amphipod species, Gammarus alpinus sp. nov., found across the Alps and analyse its distribution, biogeography as well as genetic and morphological differentiation. Until now, this species has been reported as Gammarus lacustris. Based on genetic and morphometric measurements, we show that G. alpinus is highly divergent from G. lacustris. The latter has a circumpolar distribution, but may be absent from the Alps. The observed occurrence pattern of G. alpinus might be explained by a Pliocene range expansion and vicariance due to climate warming following the Quaternary glaciation. Historical drainage divides suggest a single recolonization route from a distinct southern refugium. While G. lacustris is widely distributed and not endangered at a global scale, G. alpinus is endemic to the Alps and its habitat is negatively affected by eutrophication, non-native species and possibly climate change.

Abstract

Amphipods are keystone species in many freshwater ecosystems. Understanding their distribution and diversity is crucial to ensure and preserve freshwater ecosystem functioning, particularly in the northern hemisphere. For the European Alps information on amphipods has been relatively limited until recently. We describe a new, widely distributed amphipod species, Gammarus alpinus sp. nov., found across the Alps and analyse its distribution, biogeography as well as genetic and morphological differentiation. Until now, this species has been reported as Gammarus lacustris. Based on genetic and morphometric measurements, we show that G. alpinus is highly divergent from G. lacustris. The latter has a circumpolar distribution, but may be absent from the Alps. The observed occurrence pattern of G. alpinus might be explained by a Pliocene range expansion and vicariance due to climate warming following the Quaternary glaciation. Historical drainage divides suggest a single recolonization route from a distinct southern refugium. While G. lacustris is widely distributed and not endangered at a global scale, G. alpinus is endemic to the Alps and its habitat is negatively affected by eutrophication, non-native species and possibly climate change.

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Additional indexing

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)
Uncontrolled Keywords:alpinus – Amphipoda – biogeography – COI – endemic – Gammarus – lacustris – morphology
Language:English
Date:1 April 2017
Deposited On:08 Sep 2017 16:03
Last Modified:08 Sep 2017 16:03
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0024-4082
Funders:Funding is from Eawag Discretionary Funds,, the Swiss National Science Foundation Grant PP00P3_150698 (to F.A.),, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU, to F.A. and R.A.),, the Slovenian Research Agency Program P1-0184 (to C.F.),, the Georges and Antoine Claraz Foundation (to R.A.).
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Alther, R., Fišer, C. and Altermatt, F. (2016), Description of a widely distributed but overlooked amphipod species in the European Alps. Zool J Linn Soc. which has been published in final form at doi:10.1111/zoj.12477.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/zoj.12477
Official URL:https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/issue/179/4

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Embargo till: 2018-04-01