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Kilikowska A.,University of Gdansk | Wysocka A.,University of Gdansk | Burzynski A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Burzynski A.,Pomeranian University | And 3 more authors.
Central European Journal of Biology

Ancient lakes as places of extensive speciation processes have been characterized by a high degree of endemicity and biodiversity. The most outstanding European ancient lake is the oligotrophic and karstic Balkan Lake Ohrid. The lake is inhabited by a number of endemic species, but their evolutionary history is largely unresolved. in the present study, the genetic structure, gene genealogy and demographic history of the representatives of the Ohridian endemic Proasellus species were studied using both biparentally (allozyme loci) and maternally (partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene) inherited markers. Both data sets gave similar results and supported discrepancies among genetic differentiation, the current morphology-based taxonomy and bathymetric segregation. Horizontal distribution of endemic Proasellus species (Lake Ohrid vs adjacent feeder springs) within the lake presumably promote parapatric speciation whereas the main role of vertical barriers into diversification processes was not fully supported. The analyses of demographic history suggested the decline of endemic isopod populations. The radiation of endemic Proasellus populations within the lake could have started from the sublittoral/profundal zone towards the littoral or in the opposite direction - from the littoral to the profundal. Our analyses did not exclude both possibilities. © 2013 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien. Source

Wysocka A.,University of Gdansk | Grabowski M.,University of Lodz | Sworobowicz L.,University of Gdansk | Burzynski A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Tentatively dated, the Plio-/Pleistocene origin of the ancient Lake Ohrid on the Balkan Peninsula makes it the oldest ancient lake in Europe. Given the surface area of the lake and the adjusted endemicity rate, it may be also defined as the most diverse of all the ancient lakes in the world. From all the animal groups endemic to this lake, gammarids are amongst the most scarcely known in terms of their diversity and phylogenetic relationships. Partial DNA sequences of two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1) and 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) of eight known endemic Gammarus species from the Lake Ohrid valley were analysed. Phylogenetic analyses showed that endemic Gammarus species comprise an ancient species flock, with Gammarus sketi from the feeder springs being their sister taxon outside the lake. Amongst the species inhabiting the lake, Gammarus solidus and Gammarus salemaai are morphologically and molecularly well defined. By contrast, Gammarus ochridensis, Gammarus parechiniformis, Gammarus lychnidensis, and Gammarus stankokaramani revealed high discrepancy between morphological and genetic data. None of these morphospecies form a monophyletic clade and a significant degree of apparent gene flow occurs between them. This could be caused by incomplete lineage sorting and/or hybridization events. Two novel mtDNA lineages were found within the lake, possibly constituting two new species (Gammarus sp. 1 and Gammarus sp. 2). Molecular clock analysis showed that the split between G.sketi and the Gammarus species flock from the lake occurred approximately 5-7Mya, whereas within the flock there were at least two intralacustrine radiations: one estimated at 2-3Mya and the second at less than 1Mya. The first one could be associated with the origin of the lake and the second with the lake water-level fluctuations during Pleistocene. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London. Source

Trajanovska S.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute | Blazencic J.,University of Belgrade | Trajanovski S.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute | Budzakoska-Gjoreska B.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute
Archives of Biological Sciences

Our research into 52 profiles of the littoral zone of the Macedonian part of Lake Ohrid and numerous samples taken from its surroundings has resulted in a detailed picture of the composition of the Charophyta vegetation in the lake. The results of the research also include data regarding the species composition and present state of Nitella. The dominant species of Nitella is Nitella opaca, which is characterized by a specific distribution, morphological variability and ecology. The present state of Nitella is not steady, especially in the watershed of the lake, since in this area there are some permanent changes in the hydrology of the terrain. Therefore, there is a need to establish long-term and complex monitoring which will result in the prompt detection of risk factors and influences, thereby enabling a rapid reaction to a possible newly emerged negative state. Source

Budzakoska-Gjoreska B.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute | Trajanovski S.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute | Trajanovska S.,PSI Hydrobiological Institute
Archives of Biological Sciences

Lake Ohrid is the oldest and deepest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and one of the five oldest lakes in the world. Two of the most striking attributes of the species of the Lake's fauna, especially the fauna of gastropods, are the high level of biological diversity as well as a high percentage of endemism. The main subject of interest in our research was to follow the distribution and density of the endemic gastropod species Chilopyrgula sturanyi. For this purpose different depth points of the transect Hydrobiological Institute-Radozda as well as other littoral points on the northwestern part of Lake Ohrid, were investigated. The results showed maximum density in the population of Chilopyrgula sturanyi in the muddy lakebed covered by Chara tomentosa. The minimum density in population was recorded on the lakebed with gravel. Specimens of Chilopyrgula sturanyi were not recorded at the depth of 50 m, where the lakebed is covered by a sandy-muddy substrate. Source

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