Hidden Biodiversity in an Ecologically Important Freshwater Amphipod: Differences in Genetic Structure between Two Cryptic Species

Westram, Anja Marie; Jokela, Jukka; Keller, Irene (2013). Hidden Biodiversity in an Ecologically Important Freshwater Amphipod: Differences in Genetic Structure between Two Cryptic Species. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e69576. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0069576

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Cryptic species, i.e. species that are morphologically hard to distinguish, have been detected repeatedly in various taxa and ecosystems. In order to evaluate the importance of this finding, we have to know in how far cryptic species differ in various aspects of their biology. The amphipod Gammarus fossarum is a key invertebrate in freshwater streams and contains several cryptic species. We examined the population genetic structure, genetic diversity and demographic history of two of them (type A and type B) using microsatellite markers and asked whether they show significant differences. We present results of population genetic analyses based on a total of 37 populations from the headwaters of two major European drainages, Rhine and Rhone. We found that, in both species, genetic diversity was geographically structured among and within drainages. For type A in the Rhine and type B in the Rhone, we detected significant patterns of isolation by distance. The increase of genetic differentiation with geographical distance, however, was much higher in type A than in type B. This result indicates substantial interspecific differences in population history and/or the extent of current gene flow between populations. In the Rhine, type B does not show evidence of isolation by distance, and population differentiation is relatively low across hundreds of kilometres. The majority of these populations also show signatures of recent bottlenecks. These patterns are consistent with a recent expansion of type B into the Rhine drainage. In summary, our results suggest considerable and previously unrecognized interspecific differences in the genetic structure of these cryptic keystone species.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Keller, Irene

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2014 16:27

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2014 16:19

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0069576

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45019

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45019

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