• Climate change;
  • distribution;
  • glacial survival;
  • immigration theories;
  • Tanymastix stagnalis


The early observation from 1914 of Tanymastix stagnalis in Norway was not repeated recently, showing a rare and restricted distribution of this species. All four sampled localities were concentrated in the same area of the Trollheimen Mountains with altitudes of 900–1244 m above sea level. In March 2002, a new population of T. stagnalis was observed at about 50 km north of Madrid at an altitude of 1350 m. In general, all habitats with T. stagnalis were fishless shallow ponds and varied in size from 1 to about 300 m2. Natural variability of the global temperature is well accepted, but recent climate models have predicted increases in global average temperature. Based on the new biogeographical distribution, diurnal temperature variations, and biological evidence (inference with the analysis of mitochondria DNA), the immigration history of T. stagnalis was considered on the basis of two opposing immigration theories and in relation to the implications of global climate change. Two immigration theories, namely – the Tabula rasa and Nunatak, have prevailed in explaining the present distribution of plants and animals in Scandinavia. It was concluded that the rare occurrence of T. stagnalis in Norway fits into the Nunatak theory and that the species probably survived, at least, the last glaciation on Nunataks or coast refuges located in central northwestern Norway at Møre mountain and coast areas.