Konec M.,University of Ljubljana |
Prevorcnik S.,University of Ljubljana |
Sarbu S.M.,Grupul de Explorari Subacvatice si Speologice |
Verovnik R.,University of Ljubljana |
And 2 more authors.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2015
Caves are long-known examples of evolutionary replications where similar morphologies (troglomorphies) evolve independently as the result of strong natural selection of the extreme environment. Recently, this paradigm has been challenged based on observations that troglomorphies are inconsistent across taxa and different subterranean habitats. We investigated the degree of replicated phenotypic change in two independent cave invasions by the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus; the first in a sulphidic aquifer in Romania, the second in a sinking river in the Dinaric Karst in Slovenia. Both ancestral surface populations still live alongside the subterranean ones. Phylogenetic analyses show independence of the two colonization events, and microsatellite analysis shows no evidence of ongoing genetic exchange between surface and subterranean ecomorphs. The overall morphology has changed dramatically at both sites (50 of 62 morphometric traits). The amount of phenotypic change did not reflect differences in genetic diversity between the two ancestral populations. Multivariate analyses revealed divergent evolution in caves, not parallel or convergent as predicted by the current paradigm. Still, 18 traits changed in a parallel fashion, including eye and pigment loss and antennal elongation. These changes might be a consequence of darkness as the only common ecological feature, because Romanian caves are chemoautotrophic and rich in food, whereas Slovenian caves are not. Overall, these results show that morphologically alike surface populations can diverge after invading different subterranean habitats, and that only about one-third of all changing traits behave as troglomorphies in the traditional sense. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
PubMed | Grupul de Explorari Subacvatice si Speologice, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Ljubljana and University College London
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015
Phenotypically similar species coexisting in extreme environments like sulfidic water are subject to two opposing eco-evolutionary processes: those favoring similarity of environment-specific traits, and those promoting differences of traits related to resource use. The former group of processes includes ecological filtering and convergent or parallel evolution, the latter competitive exclusion, character displacement and divergent evolution. We used a unique eco-evolutionary study system composed of two independent pairs of coexisting amphipod species (genus Niphargus) from the sulfidic caves Movile in Romania and Frasassi in Italy to study the relative contribution and interaction of both processes. We looked at the shape of the multifunctional ventral channel as a trait ostensibly related to oxygenation and sulfide detoxification, and at body size as a resource-related trait. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the sulfidic caves were colonized separately by ancestors of each species. Species within pairs were more dissimilar in their morphology than expected according to a null model based on regional species pool. This might indicate competitive interactions shaping the morphology of these amphipod species. Moreover, our results suggest that the shape of the ventral channel is not subject to long-term convergent selection or to the process of environmental filtering, and as such probably does not play a role in sulfide tolerance. Nevertheless, the ancestral conditions reconstructed using the comparative method tended to be more similar than null-model expectations. This shift in patterns may reflect a temporal hierarchy of eco-evolutionary processes, in which initial environmental filtering became later on superseded by character displacement or other competition-driven divergent evolutionary processes.
Curcic B.P.M.,University of Belgrade |
Sarbu S.M.,Grupul de Explorari Subacvatice si Speologice |
Dimitrijevic R.N.,University of Belgrade |
Curcic S.B.,University of Belgrade
Archives of Biological Sciences | Year: 2014
Only two species of Chthonius (Ephippiochthonius) (Chthoniidae) are presently known from Dobruja, Romania. Among these one should mention Chthonius (Ephippiochthonius) tetrachelatus (Preyssler) (not endemic) and C. (E.) scythicus Georgescu & Cãpuşe (endemic). A new cave species belonging to the genus Chthonius - Chthonius (Ephippiochthonius) borissketi Ćurčić and Sarbu n. sp., is described from a well nr. Movile Cave, Mangalia, Romania and is endemic to the area studied. Its taxonomic relationships with phenetically close congeners, as well as its comparative morphological traits, are described in detail.
Flot J.-F.,University of Gottingen |
Flot J.-F.,Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization |
Bauermeister J.,University of Gottingen |
Brad T.,Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology |
And 3 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2014
Niphargus is a speciose amphipod genus found in groundwater habitats across Europe. Three Niphargus species living in the sulphidic Frasassi caves in Italy harbour sulphur-oxidizing Thiothrix bacterial ectosymbionts. These three species are distantly related, implying that the ability to form ectosymbioses with Thiothrix may be common among Niphargus. Therefore, Niphargus-Thiothrix associations may also be found in sulphidic aquifers other than Frasassi. In this study, we examined this possibility by analysing niphargids of the genera Niphargus and Pontoniphargus collected from the partly sulphidic aquifers of the Southern Dobrogea region of Romania, which are accessible through springs, wells and Movile Cave. Molecular and morphological analyses revealed seven niphargid species in this region. Five of these species occurred occasionally or exclusively in sulphidic locations, whereas the remaining two were restricted to nonsulphidic areas. Thiothrix were detected by PCR on all seven Dobrogean niphargid species and observed using microscopy to be predominantly attached to their hosts' appendages. 16S rRNA gene sequences of the Thiothrix epibionts fell into two main clades, one of which (herein named T4) occurred solely on niphargids collected in sulphidic locations. The other Thiothrix clade was present on niphargids from both sulphidic and nonsulphidic areas and indistinguishable from the T3 ectosymbiont clade previously identified on Frasassi-dwelling Niphargus. Although niphargids from Frasassi and Southern Dobrogea are not closely related, the patterns of their association with Thiothrix are remarkably alike. The finding of similar Niphargus-Thiothrix associations in aquifers located 1200 km apart suggests that they may be widespread in European groundwater ecosystems. © 2013 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Falniowski A.,Jagiellonian University |
Sarbu S.,Grupul de Explorari Subacvatice si Speologice
ZooKeys | Year: 2015
In the small lake located in the cave Melissotrypa in Thessalia, Greece, truncatelloidean gastropods representing two species were found, new to science. One of them, represented by two specimens only, has been described based on the shell characters only; with its cytochrome oxidase sequence it has been assigned to the genus Iglica, and to the family Moitessieriidae, Iglica hellenica sp. n. For the other species, represented by 30 collected specimens, the shell, protoconch, radula, head, penis and female reproductive organs have been described; all the morphological characters and cytochrome oxidase sequences have confirmed its assignment to the genus Daphniola (Hydrobiidae: Sadlerianinae), Daphniola magdalenae Falniowski, sp. n. © 2015, Pensoft Publishers. All rights reserved.
PubMed | Grupul de Explorari Subacvatice si Speologice and Jagiellonian University
Type: | Journal: ZooKeys | Year: 2015
In the small lake located in the cave Melissotrypa in Thessalia, Greece, truncatelloidean gastropods representing two species were found, new to science. One of them, represented by two specimens only, has been described based on the shell characters only; with its cytochrome oxidase sequence it has been assigned to the genus Iglica, and to the family Moitessieriidae, Iglica hellenica sp. n. For the other species, represented by 30 collected specimens, the shell, protoconch, radula, head, penis and female reproductive organs have been described; all the morphological characters and cytochrome oxidase sequences have confirmed its assignment to the genus Daphniola (Hydrobiidae: Sadlerianinae), Daphniola magdalenae Falniowski, sp. n.