Gothenburg Natural History Museum

Göteborg, Sweden

Gothenburg Natural History Museum

Göteborg, Sweden

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Mizsei E.,Debrecen University | Jablonski D.,Comenius University | Roussos S.A.,Texas Tech University | Roussos S.A.,University of North Texas | And 4 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2017

Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii-renardi complex) are small-bodied snakes that live in either lowland grasslands or montane subalpine-alpine meadows spanning a distribution from France to western China. This complex has previously been the focus of several taxonomic studies which were based mainly on morphological, allozyme or immunological characters and did not clearly resolve the relationships between the various taxa. Recent mitochondrial DNA analyses found unexpected relationships within the complex which had taxonomical consequences for the detected lineages. The most surprising was the basal phylogenetic position of Vipera ursinii graeca, a taxon described almost 30 years ago from the mountains of Greece. We present here new analyses of three nuclear markers (BDNF, NT3, PRLR; a first for studies of meadow and steppe vipers) as well as analyses of newly obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences (CYT B, ND4).Our Bayesian analyses of nuclear sequences are concordant with previous studies of mitochondrial DNA, in that the phylogenetic position of the graeca clade is a clearly distinguished and distinct lineage separated from all other taxa in the complex. These phylogenetic results are also supported by a distinct morphology, ecology and isolated distribution of this unique taxon. Based on several data sets and an integrative species concept we recommend to elevate this taxon to species level: Vipera graeca Nilson & Andrén, 1988 stat. nov. Copyright © 2017 Magnolia Press.


Hatteland B.A.,University of Bergen | Hatteland B.A.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk | Solhoy T.,University of Bergen | Schander C.,University of Bergen | And 4 more authors.
Malacologia | Year: 2015

The large arionid slug Arion vulgaris is an invasive pest dispersing through large parts of Europe and causing considerable damage in gardens, horticulture and agriculture. It is also possible that this so-called "Iberian slug" has an impact on Norwegian ecosystems, displacing or hybridizing with the native black slug Arion ater. The taxonomy of the large arionids is complex and confusing, encompassing different anatomical forms and colour varieties. The present study integrates, for the first time, coloration, ligula morphology, genital morphometry, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in order to differentiate the large arionids found in Norway, A. vulgaris, A. ater and A. rufus. These data revealed a clear separation between A. vulgaris and A. ater based on the morphology of the genitalia and mtDNA. However, introgression with the red slug A. rufus was apparent in approximately half of the A. ater specimens analysed, evidenced by ligula morphology, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. In addition, the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS1 gene suggested introgression between A. ater and A. vulgaris. Phylogenetic analyses that included A. vulgaris, A. ater and A. rufus from other parts of Europe, together with A. flagellus, A. fuscus, A. Lusitanicus and A. nobrei suggest that A. vulgaris is more closely related to A. ater and A. rufus than to A. Lusitanicus. This study confirms the uncertainty of identification based solely on coloration and stresses the importance of integrating several approaches to differentiate these large arionids, allowing a better appreciation of their invasive potential, ecological impact and current distribution.


Zinenko O.,University of Kharkiv | Stumpel N.,Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum Braunschweig | Mazanaeva L.,Dagestan State University | Bakiev A.,Russian Academy of Sciences | And 12 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2015

The phylogeny and historical demography of small Eurasian vipers of the Vipera ursinii and V. renardi complexes were studied using mitochondrial DNA sequences analysed with Bayesian inference, Maximum Likelihood and Maximum Parsimony approaches, and mismatch distributions. Diversification in the group resulted from an initial dispersion in the later Pliocene - Pleistocene in two directions: north-westwards via the Balkans (V. ursinii complex) and north-eastwards from Asia Minor via the Caucasus (V. renardi complex). An independent, comparatively recent transition occurred from montane habitats to lowland grasslands in different mitochondrial lineages during the Late Pleistocene, when representatives of the both complexes had reached lowland steppes to the north. Effective population size showed clear signs of rapid growth in eastern V. renardi, triggered by colonization of vast lowland steppes, but in western V. ursinii complex grew during the Last Glaciation and experienced stabilization in Holocene. Expansion and population growth in lowland lineages of V. renardi was not strongly affected by Pleistocene climatic oscillations, when cold, dry conditions could have favoured species living in open grasslands. The high diversity of closely related haplotypes in the Caucasus and Tien-Shan could have resulted from repetitive expansion-constriction-isolation events in montane regions during Pleistocene climate fluctuations. The mitochondrial phylogeny pattern conflicts with the current taxonomy. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Lopes-Lima M.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Sousa R.,University of Minho | Geist J.,TU Munich | Aldridge D.C.,University of Cambridge | And 44 more authors.
Biological Reviews | Year: 2016

Freshwater mussels of the Order Unionida provide important ecosystem functions and services, yet many of their populations are in decline. We comprehensively review the status of the 16 currently recognized species in Europe, collating for the first time their life-history traits, distribution, conservation status, habitat preferences, and main threats in order to suggest future management actions. In northern, central, and eastern Europe, a relatively homogeneous species composition is found in most basins. In southern Europe, despite the lower species richness, spatially restricted species make these basins a high conservation priority. Information on freshwater mussels in Europe is unevenly distributed with considerable differences in data quality and quantity among countries and species. To make conservation more effective in the future, we suggest greater international cooperation using standardized protocols and methods to monitor and manage European freshwater mussel diversity. Such an approach will not only help conserve this vulnerable group but also, through the protection of these important organisms, will offer wider benefits to freshwater ecosystems. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.


PubMed | CNR Institute of Neuroscience, University of Kragujevac, Buffalo State College, Danube Research Institute and 32 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society | Year: 2016

Freshwater mussels of the Order Unionida provide important ecosystem functions and services, yet many of their populations are in decline. We comprehensively review the status of the 16 currently recognized species in Europe, collating for the first time their life-history traits, distribution, conservation status, habitat preferences, and main threats in order to suggest future management actions. In northern, central, and eastern Europe, a relatively homogeneous species composition is found in most basins. In southern Europe, despite the lower species richness, spatially restricted species make these basins a high conservation priority. Information on freshwater mussels in Europe is unevenly distributed with considerable differences in data quality and quantity among countries and species. To make conservation more effective in the future, we suggest greater international cooperation using standardized protocols and methods to monitor and manage European freshwater mussel diversity. Such an approach will not only help conserve this vulnerable group but also, through the protection of these important organisms, will offer wider benefits to freshwater ecosystems.


Nakano H.,Gothenburg University | Nakano H.,University of Tsukuba | Lundin K.,Gothenburg Natural History Museum | Bourlat S.J.,Gothenburg University | And 7 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Xenoturbella bocki, a marine animal with a simple body plan, has recently been suggested to be sister group to the Acoelomorpha, together forming the new phylum Xenacoelomorpha. The phylogenetic position of the phylum is still under debate, either as an early branching bilaterian or as a sister group to the Ambulacraria (hemichordates and echinoderms) within the deuterostomes. Although development has been described for several species of Acoelomorpha, little is known about the life cycle of Xenoturbella. Here we report the embryonic stages of Xenoturbella, and show that it is a direct developer without a feeding larval stage. This mode of development is similar to that of the acoelomorphs, supporting the newly proposed phylum Xenacoelomorpha and suggesting that the last common ancestor of the phylum might have been a direct developer. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Drotz M.K.,Lake Vanern Museum of Natural and Cultural History | Berggren M.,Gothenburg University | Lundberg S.,Swedish Museum of Natural History | Lundin K.,Gothenburg Natural History Museum | von Proschwitz T.,Gothenburg Natural History Museum
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2010

Single specimens of the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853, have been regularly reported along the western and eastern coasts of Sweden since the 1930's. The crab has most likely been brought from overseas via the transfer of ship's ballast water or secondarily introduced from its key European distribution areas. Since 2001 a sharp increase in the occurrence of the mitten crab has been noticed in Swedish inland waters, but the dispersal routes and distribution of the species into Sweden remain poorly known. Here we document the current and historical distribution of the Chinese mitten crab in Sweden and assess possible invasion routes. A special focus is put on the historical occurrence of crabs in Lake Vänern, which empties into the Skagerrak/North Sea and Lake Mälaren, which connects to the Baltic Sea. The existing time series available for the mitten crab from the two lakes shows a large variation in dispersal pattern between different areas within each lake. In order to detect and monitor outbreaks of the mitten crab in Sweden, an internet based reporting system was created in 2007. Museum collections and reports from the general public throughout Sweden were compared with the known occurrence of mitten crabs in Lake Vänern and Lake Mälaren. During the study, the web-based reporting system was not advertised and the general public did not get paid for reporting the information. Population densities of the crab occurred "in peaks" and unevenly over the last decade in both lakes, suggesting a pulse invasion instead of a constant supply by migration. Significant difference in male and female occurrence together with few transport possibilities between lakes suggests different invasion routes for the crabs. Reports from the general public throughout Sweden coincide with the observations from local fishermen in Lake Mälaren and Lake Vänern. Data on occurrence and abundance are discussed in relation to a potential reproduction area on the western coast of Sweden. © 2010 The Author(s).

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