• cyclical parthenogenesis;
  • Daphnia longispina complex;
  • genetic diversity;
  • microsatellite;
  • population structure


Hybridization is common among cyclical parthenogens, especially in zooplankton species assemblages of the genus Daphnia. To explore hybridization dynamics and the extent of clonal diversity in the Daphnia longispina complex, we analysed population structure in eight permanent lakes. Based on 15 microsatellite loci, three major taxonomic units emerged: two species, D. galeata and D. longispina and their F1 hybrids, supported by factorial correspondence analysis and two Bayesian methods. At the same time, the detection of backcross classes differed between methods. Mean clonal diversity was lowest in the F1 hybrids, as expected from the high rate of asexual reproduction. Within taxa, replicated genotypes were of clonal origin, but clonal lineages persisted in subsequent years in only one of three resampled lakes. In another lake, the taxon composition changed from being dominated by hybrids to complete dominance by one parental taxon. Such a year-to-year taxon replacement has not been reported for the D. longispina complex before. Our data on this hybrid complex illustrate that high-resolution genotyping is essential for the understanding of ecological and evolutionary outcomes of hybridization in partially clonal taxa.