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La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Rutschmann S.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Gattolliat J.-L.,Musee cantonal de zoologie | Hughes S.J.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | Baez M.,University of La Laguna | And 3 more authors.
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2014

The Canary Islands and Madeira are reportedly home to seven recognised species of baetid mayflies (Ephemeroptera, Baetidae), two of which also occur on the European mainland. Their species status remains unsure, and loss of habitat suggests they are of conservation concern. We applied morphological characters and a general mixed Yule-coalescent (gmyc) model analysis of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene to delineate putative species within morphologically cryptic species groups Baetis (Rhodobaetis) and Cloeon dipterum s.l. We used a three-gene mitochondrial data set (1450 base pairs) to infer phylogenetic relationships and a molecular clock calibrated using island geological ages to infer colonisation history. Genetic and morphological evidence indicated the presence of 12 putative species, 11 of which were endemic to the islands. Only Baetis atlanticus, on Madeira, also occurs on the European mainland. Two lineages (B. pseudorhodani s.l. and B. canariensis s.l.) appear to have arisen in the past 15 million years (mya) and diversified in parallel throughout the Canary Islands. Within the canariensis lineage, sister species occur on the island of Gran Canaria and in North Africa. Pronounced island endemism contradicts previous taxonomic work, which reported a depauperate fauna that included several mainland species. Recent diversification among islands and a close link to North Africa suggest a complex evolutionary history. Owing to their small population size and ongoing habitat alteration, several of these island endemics are among the most endangered aquatic insects in Europe. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Barber-James H.M.,Albany Museum | Barber-James H.M.,Rhodes University | Gattolliat J.-L.,Musee cantonal de zoologie
Inland Waters | Year: 2012

Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) are a merolimnic insect order (part of the life cycle is aquatic) and play an important role as biological indicators of river ecosystem health. In the Afrotropical realm (including sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar), this order presently encompasses 122 genera and more than 400 species; all species and 85% of the genera are endemic to the Afrotropics. A great part of the diversity still remains unknown. The specific and generic diversity of mayfly families from Madagascar and from 4 sub-Saharan African subregions (West Africa, western Central Africa, eastern Central Africa, and southern Africa) is presented. A concurrent comparison of this diversity with the level of taxonomic knowledge for each subregion highlights inadequacy of knowledge. It is important for freshwater conservation biologists and ecologists, and for biomonitoring programs, to have a level of certainty when identifying taxa. This preliminary synthesis is intended to stimulate future taxonomic research and collecting efforts in understudied regions that will lead to species descriptions and recognition of the biodiversity of these regions. This information will feed into regional identification keys and enable more accurate species identification. Greater understanding of the diversity of organisms, the foundation for all ecological studies, can be used to refine biomonitoring protocols for freshwater organisms. © International Society of Limnology 2012.

Leys M.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Leys M.,ETH Zurich | Keller I.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Rasanen K.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | And 5 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2016

Background: Many species contain evolutionarily distinct groups that are genetically highly differentiated but morphologically difficult to distinguish (i.e., cryptic species). The presence of cryptic species poses significant challenges for the accurate assessment of biodiversity and, if unrecognized, may lead to erroneous inferences in many fields of biological research and conservation. Results: We tested for cryptic genetic variation within the broadly distributed alpine mayfly Baetis alpinus across several major European drainages in the central Alps. Bayesian clustering and multivariate analyses of nuclear microsatellite loci, combined with phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA, were used to assess population genetic structure and diversity. We identified two genetically highly differentiated lineages (A and B) that had no obvious differences in regional distribution patterns, and occurred in local sympatry. Furthermore, the two lineages differed in relative abundance, overall levels of genetic diversity as well as patterns of population structure: lineage A was abundant, widely distributed and had a higher level of genetic variation, whereas lineage B was less abundant, more prevalent in spring-fed tributaries than glacier-fed streams and restricted to high elevations. Subsequent morphological analyses revealed that traits previously acknowledged as intraspecific variation of B. alpinus in fact segregated these two lineages. Conclusions: Taken together, our findings indicate that even common and apparently ecologically well-studied species may consist of reproductively isolated units, with distinct evolutionary histories and likely different ecology and evolutionary potential. These findings emphasize the need to investigate hidden diversity even in well-known species to allow for appropriate assessment of biological diversity and conservation measures. © 2016 Leys et al.

Vilenica M.,University of Zagreb | Gattolliat J.-L.,Musee cantonal de zoologie | Ivkovic M.,University of Zagreb | Kucinic M.,University of Zagreb | And 4 more authors.
Natura Croatica | Year: 2014

The mayfly fauna of Plitvice Lakes NP was investigated at 14 sampling sites representing different types of karstic freshwater habitat (springs, streams, tufa barriers and lakes). Specimens were sampled from February 2007 to February 2009 using different methods and 19 taxa were identified. Lotic habitats supported more mayfly species than lentic habitat types. The recorded species, four of which are new for the Croatian fauna, encompass 27 % of the total number of Croatian mayfly fauna. This study represents an important contribution to the knowledge of mayfly fauna of karst habitats in Croatia. © 2014, Croatian Natural History Museum. All rights reserved.

Vuataz L.,Musee cantonal de zoologie | Vuataz L.,University of Lausanne | Sartori M.,Musee cantonal de zoologie | Gattolliat J.-L.,Musee cantonal de zoologie | Monaghan M.T.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

The biodiversity and endemism of Madagascar are among the most extraordinary and endangered in the world. This includes the island's freshwater biodiversity, although detailed knowledge of the diversity, endemism, and biogeographic origin of freshwater invertebrates is lacking. The aquatic immature stages of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) are widely used as bio-indicators and form an important component of Malagasy freshwater biodiversity. Many species are thought to be microendemics, restricted to single river basins in forested areas, making them particularly sensitive to habitat reduction and degradation. The Heptageniidae are a globally diverse family of mayflies (>500 species) but remain practically unknown in Madagascar except for two species described in 1996. The standard approach to understanding their diversity, endemism, and origin would require extensive field sampling on several continents and years of taxonomic work followed by phylogenetic analysis. Here we circumvent this using museum collections and freshly collected individuals in a combined approach of DNA taxonomy and phylogeny. The coalescent-based GMYC analysis of DNA barcode data (mitochondrial COI) revealed 14 putative species on Madagascar, 70% of which were microendemics. A phylogenetic analysis that included African and Asian species and data from two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci indicated the Malagasy Heptageniidae are monophyletic and sister to African species. The genus Compsoneuria is shown to be paraphyletic and the genus Notonurus is reinstalled for African and Malagasy species previously placed in Compsoneuria. A molecular clock excluded a Gondwanan vicariance origin and instead favoured a more recent overseas colonization of Madagascar. The observed monophyly and high microendemism highlight their conservation importance and suggest the DNA-based approach can rapidly provide information on the diversity, endemism, and origin of freshwater biodiversity. Our results underline the important role that museum collections can play in molecular studies, especially in critically endangered biodiversity hotspots like Madagascar where entire species or populations may go extinct very quickly. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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