- 1.A study on the genetic variability of the white-clawed crayfish was carried out based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene sequences. The sequences applied were more informative regarding white-clawed crayfish genetic variability than others previously used.
- 2.Two haplotypes were found to exist in the Iberian Peninsula. The haplotypes exhibit a strong geographic subdivision (ΦST=0.83). One of the Iberian haplotypes was similar to north Italian haplotypes and the second differed in only one mutation. This pattern of genetic variability contrasts with those found in glacial refugial areas of France, Italy and the Balkan Peninsula.
- 3.Two hypotheses on the origin of the white-clawed crayfish in the Iberian Peninsula are discussed: (i) one based on an anthropogenic origin, and (ii) a second based on a successive number of postglacial ancient and recent bottlenecks, i.e. the disjunction between Iberian and Italian populations of white-clawed crayfish species is due to competition between A. italicus and A. pallipes, in addition to the impact of crayfish plague and human translocations.
- 4.New references for the white-clawed crayfish in the Iberian Peninsula were found in medieval and Arabic texts. The results show that this species has been thriving in this peninsula since ancient periods and that its indigenous status should not be questioned.
- 5.Conservation action and plans should consider the low genetic diversity as a limitation for farm-raising specimens more adapted and resistant to changing environments and diseases.
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.