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Ecological and morphological differentiation among cryptic evolutionary lineages in freshwater limpets of the nominal form-group Ancylus fluviatilis (O.F. Müller, 1774)

Authors

  • Markus Pfenninger,

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    1. Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • Sid Staubach,

    1. Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • Christian Albrecht,

    1. Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • Bruno Streit,

    1. Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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  • Klaus Schwenk

    1. Abteilung Ökologie und Evolution, Zoologisches Institut der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Bio-Campus Siesmayerstraße, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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Dr Markus Pfenninger. Fax: + 49 69 79824910; E-mail: Pfenninger@zoology.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

The phylogeny and potential mode of speciation of the river limpet Ancylus fluviatilis (Basommatophora) was examined using mitochondrial DNA sequences from 16S ribosomal RNA, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear DNA from internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) regions from 103 populations across Europe. Four highly divergent lineages were observed within Ancylus. Clade 1, representing the nominal taxon Ancylus fluviatilis (O.F. Müller, 1774), is mainly found in central and northern Europe, Clade 2 is present in a single Portuguese population, Clade 3 is distributed on the Canary islands, North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region, whereas Clade 4 inhabits the Northern Mediterranean coasts. Phylogenetic analyses revealed an overall consistent topology of nuclear and mitochondrial gene trees. Based on a molecular clock, we estimated that the basic radiation occurred in the late Pliocene. Although clades differ significantly in size independent shell shape, morphological differentiation of lineages is not feasible without genetic data. Environmental data related to climate (precipitation, temperature, etc.) showed a significant differentiation of clades. Clade 1 dwells in relatively colder and more stable habitats than Clades 3 and 4, whose habitats in turn differ in a low or high amount of precipitation during spring and autumn, respectively. Based on the combined data sets on mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA, morphological and ecological differentiation, we conclude that Ancylus represents a cryptic species complex of reproductively and genetically isolated lineages. In addition, the joint analysis suggests that ecological speciation is probable to explain current patterns.

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