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Keywords:

  • salt lakes;
  • scanning electron microscopy;
  • discriminant analysis;
  • molecular analysis;
  • biogeography

Abstract

Artemia urmiana (a species previously considered endemic of Lake Urmia, NW Iran) has been found in Lake Koyashskoe, a hypersaline lake on the Black Sea coast of the Crimean peninsula (Ukraine). Therefore, this is the first record of A. urmiana in Europe which updates its distribution. The species identification was based on an integrated and interdisciplinary approach using discriminant analysis of the morphometric characters, scanning electron microscopy, and molecular profile analysis. The data derived from the above mentioned approaches converge to significant similarity of the population under investigation with A. urmiana. The updated geographic distribution of the species, deriving from the present report, asks for additional contribution of other disciplines (e.g., avian dispersal of cysts, history of salt trade) to be finally clarified. At present we suggest that the punctuated geographic distribution of A. urmiana is probably linked to its low dispersal capability, and we suppose that its presence in two distant sites could be explained by historical human salt trade between Lake Urmia and the ancient port of Kimmerik, whose remains have been found in the present Lake Koyashskoe. (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)