Croatian Institute for Biodiversity

Zagreb, Croatia

Croatian Institute for Biodiversity

Zagreb, Croatia

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Jelic D.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Krivek G.,University of Szeged
Ribarstvo, Croatian Journal of Fisheries | Year: 2017

Telestes croaticus is a freshwater fish endemic in Croatia. It is a stygophile species, living above ground but occasionally retreating into subterranean waters. This species is found in the southwest region of Croatia, in the Lika-Jadova and Ricica drainages, in cold and clear waters in lowland habitats with little current, and in springs and associated wetlands. It is protected under Croatian law and was listed by the IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN). It has an extremely limited distribution which makes it vulnerable to different kind of traits such as habitat destruction, water extraction, dam construction, agricultural water pollution and especially the introduction of non-indigenous fish species. Suggested conservation actions for this species are: bans on watercourse regulation, reduction of pollution and eradication of alien fish species. Due to its fast decline in the last 10 years, it is our proposition that T. croaticus should be upgraded to a Critically Endangered species under criterion A2ace A4ace. © The Author(s) 2017.


Voros J.,Hungarian Natural History Museum | Voros J.,Molecular Taxonomy Laboratory | Marton O.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Schmidt B.R.,University of Zürich | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

In surveillance of subterranean fauna, especially in the case of rare or elusive aquatic species, traditional techniques used for epigean species are often not feasible. We developed a non-invasive survey method based on environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect the presence of the red-listed cave-dwelling amphibian, Proteus anguinus, in the caves of the Dinaric Karst. We tested the method in fifteen caves in Croatia, from which the species was previously recorded or expected to occur. We successfully confirmed the presence of P. anguinus from ten caves and detected the species for the first time in five others. Using a hierarchical occupancy model we compared the availability and detection probability of eDNA of two water sampling methods, filtration and precipitation. The statistical analysis showed that both availability and detection probability depended on the method and estimates for both probabilities were higher using filter samples than for precipitation samples. Combining reliable field and laboratory methods with robust statistical modeling will give the best estimates of species occurrence. © 2017 Vörös et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Jelic D.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Jelic D.,Institute for Research | Spelic I.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Zutinic P.,University of Zagreb
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2016

108 years after Trgovčić (1908) authors made a revised list of fish species found in rivers and streams of the Lika region. Throughout the 8 years of investigation a total of 31 species of freshwater fish were recorded, of which only eight are indigenous for this area, for two species the origin is not known, and the remaining 21 species are introduced by anthropogenic activity over the last 100 years. This represents the over-domination of introduced species by the astonishing 300%. All of this increase in numbers causes significant increase in biomass and changes the naturally oligotrophic ecosystem, which might lead to rapid eutrophication and increase of water temperature. Furthermore, induced changes in the system make the habitat more suitable for introduced cyprinid fish, which again causes the increase of biomass production. Endemic fish species are retreating into upper parts of small tributaries and underground cave systems. The present research indicates species Delminichthys jadovensis, D. krbavensis, Telestes fontinalis and T. croaticus as real stygophiles, which makes them unique on the European continent.


Landeka N.,Public Health Institute of the Istrian | Podnar M.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Jelic D.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity
Periodicum Biologorum | Year: 2015

Background and Purpose: In the early 20th century, two native North American poeciliid species Gambusia holbrooki and Gambusia affinis were introduced to Europe as a mosquito control agent. The first introduction to Istria from Italy in 1924 was followed by several independent introductions and massive translocations. Presently, the distribution of these two species in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is still largely unknown and they are often confused. The purpose of this study was to determine the taxonomic status of individual Gambusia populations and to shed more light on the distribution and phylogeographic patterns of these invasive species in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Materials and Methods: All new and literature data were plotted together to obtain the overall distribution of Gambusia sp. in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The samples collected across this range were analysed meristically and by means of mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) gene sequence analysis to ascertain the true taxonomic status of the populations. For phylogeographic analysis, the cytb sequences from this study were combined with previously published data. Results and Conclusions: The methods only confirmed the presence of G. holbrooki. G. holbrooki is continuously distributed across the entire Mediterranean biogeographical region in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two different mitochondrial cytb haplotypes were found: the widely spread Hol1 haplotype and haplotype Hol5 that in Europe was previously found only in France and Greece. This suggests that G. holbrooki populations in the region originated from different stocks. © 2015 Croatian Society of Natural Sciences. All rights reserved.


Jelic D.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Ajtic R.,Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia | Sterijovski B.,Macedonian Ecological Society | Crnobrnja-Isailovic J.,University of Niš | And 3 more authors.
Herpetological Conservation and Biology | Year: 2013

Vipers display high specific and sub-specific diversity in the Balkans, but available atlases and red data books provide no precise data about legal status and conservation threats. the three viper species in the Balkans share several conservation problems: lack of systematic study and public interest, "historical and political burdens," lack of knowledge, superstitions and fear among people, increasing urbanization, habitat destruction, illegal collection, as well as lack of adequate (or no) legislation at the country level. here we present an overview of legal status of vipers across five countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and herzegovina, montenegro, and the former Yugoslav republic of macedonia) and present precise information about particular conservation problems. moreover, we propose conservation priorities and measures for each viper species in each country based on already standardized analyses. We calculated an overall index of relative environmental sensitivity. vipera ursinii was indicated as a species in serious threat of decline (mean score value of 1.9) and v. berus as species possibly vulnerable to decline (score 1.2). vipera ammodytes was indicated as species with low risk of decline (0.7). Based on these scores and previously published distribution data, we made an analysis of important viper areas to indicate areas of special concern. © 2013. Dušan Jelić. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | National Museum of Natural History, Croatian Institute for Biodiversity, National Museum, Comenius University and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: BMC evolutionary biology | Year: 2016

Genetic architecture of a species is a result of historical changes in population size and extent of distribution related to climatic and environmental factors and contemporary processes of dispersal and gene flow. Population-size and range contractions, expansions and shifts have a substantial effect on genetic diversity and intraspecific divergence, which is further shaped by gene-flow limiting barriers. The Balkans, as one of the most important sources of European biodiversity, is a region where many temperate species persisted during the Pleistocene glaciations and where high topographic heterogeneity offers suitable conditions for local adaptations of populations. In this study, we investigated the phylogeographical patterns and demographic histories of four species of semifossorial slow-worm lizards (genus Anguis) present in the Balkan Peninsula, and tested the relationship between genetic diversity and topographic heterogeneity of the inhabited ranges.We inferred phylogenetic relationships, compared genetic structure and historical demography of slow worms using nucleotide sequence variation of mitochondrial DNA. Four Anguis species with mostly parapatric distributions occur in the Balkan Peninsula. They show different levels of genetic diversity. A signature of population growth was detected in all four species but with various courses in particular populations. We found a strong correlation between genetic diversity of slow-worm populations and topographic ruggedness of the ranges (mountain systems) they inhabit. Areas with more rugged terrain harbour higher genetic diversity.Phylogeographical pattern of the genus Anguis in the Balkans is concordant with the refugia-within-refugia model previously proposed for both several other taxa in the region and other main European Peninsulas. While slow-worm populations from the southern refugia mostly have restricted distributions and have not dispersed much from their refugial areas, populations from the extra-Mediterranean refugia in northern parts of the Balkans have colonized vast areas of eastern, central, and western Europe. Besides climatic historical events, the heterogeneous topography of the Balkans has also played an important role in shaping genetic diversity of slow worms.


Horvathova T.,Comenius University | Horvathova T.,University of Oxford | Horvathova T.,Jagiellonian University | Cooney C.R.,University of Oxford | And 9 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2013

Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing relatively short activity season mature at a larger size and remain larger on average than females in populations with relatively long activity seasons. Interpopulation variation in fecundity was largely explained by mean body size of females and reproductive mode, with viviparous populations having larger clutch size than oviparous populations. Finally, body size-fecundity relationship differs between viviparous and oviparous populations, with relatively lower reproductive investment for a given body size in oviparous populations. While the phylogenetic signal was weak overall, the patterns of variation showed spatial effects, perhaps reflecting genetic divergence or geographic variation in additional biotic and abiotic factors. Our findings emphasize that time constraints imposed by the environment rather than ambient temperature play a major role in shaping life histories in the common lizard. This might be attributed to the fact that lizards can attain their preferred body temperature via behavioral thermoregulation across different thermal environments. Length of activity season, defining the maximum time available for lizards to maintain optimal performance, is thus the main environmental factor constraining growth rate and annual rates of mortality. Our results suggest that this factor may partly explain variation in the extent to which different taxa follow ecogeographic rules. © 2013 The Authors.


Turic N.,Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek | Temunovic M.,University of Zagreb | Temunovic M.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Radovic A.,Czech University of Life Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2015

Lowland riverine floodplains are among the most dynamic and heterogeneous of ecosystems, but many have been extensively modified. Their provision of important habitats provides a key motivation for restoring natural flow regimes (in terms of magnitude, frequency, duration, timing and rate of change of hydrological conditions). Despite general recognition that aquatic insects respond to changes in water availability, there is little agreement about the influence of flow regime components on community structure in floodplains. We analysed a 6-year (2005 and 2007-2011) data set of aquatic insects (Heteroptera and Coleoptera) in a large Danubian floodplain characterised by pronounced hydrological variability. We hypothesised that abundance and assemblage structure would depend on flow regime components. In particular, we predicted that high-flow events in the mainstream and concurrent high-magnitude floods of prolonged duration would have a positive effect on diversity and abundance and that insect assemblages would differ between phases of hydrological connectivity. In addition, we assessed whether the survival of two threatened aquatic insects, Graphoderus bilineatus and Berosus geminus, depends on hydrological connectivity. Abundance and species richness of Heteroptera and Coleoptera increased during years with frequent extremely high flood pulses and prolonged flooding. Multivariate ordination showed subtle relationships between hydrological conditions, hydrological connectivity and insect assemblages with number of days in flood providing the best fit. Spring floods had a more pronounced effect on the assemblages than autumn floods. The time lag between flood occurrence and its apparent effect on aquatic insects was 17-31 days, reflecting insect life cycles. The abundance of G. bilineatus (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) was affected by mean water level during the month preceding sampling, whereas the abundance of B. geminus (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) was related to the occurrence of prolonged high-magnitude floods. The current water regime of the Danube River favours generalist species with high dispersal capacities and broad niches and food resources. Changes in flow management practices could remove the positive influence of floods on aquatic insect communities and lead to losses of threatened species that depend on these river-floodplain habitats. Our results contribute to the understanding necessary for appropriate evaluation and prioritisation of international floodplain conservation efforts. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Zutinic P.,University of Zagreb | Jelic D.,Croatian Institute for Biodiversity | Jelic M.,University of Zagreb | Buj I.,University of Zagreb
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2014

Recent morphological and genetic studies on the genus Barbus in the Danube basin area (Kotlík et al. 2002) have led to division within the Barbus petenyi species complex and description of a new species, Barbus balcanicus. As a contribution to a better understanding of ecology of this newly described species, during 2007 authors studied the age structure, growth rate and sexual dimorphism in the population from the Ilova River basin. The overall sex ratio in the population was close to expected 1:1. Age estimation of captured specimens identified males aged 0-2 years and females aged 0-3 years. Length and weight change over age shows that there is no difference in growth rate between males and females. The population age structure suggest that females live longer (3+) than males (2+), thus explaining the sexual dimorphism in the body size. Males reach sexual maturity at around 67 mm of the total length (TL) and females at approximately 82 mm TL. Mean condition factor (Kmean) for all age classes is high (~1.2-1.3) and shows similar values. The results from unpaired two-tailed t-tests for all 26 morphometric characters show statistically significant differences between males and females (p<0.001). However, when comparing the morphometric ratios, 9 out of 28 have shown statistically significant differences (6 ratios with p<0.001; 3 ratios with p<0.005). ©NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2014.

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