, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 409-440
Date: 30 Jul 2010

Phylogeny, molecular ecology and taxonomy of southern Iberian lineages of Triops mauritanicus (Crustacea: Notostraca)

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We investigated the phylogeography of the main lineages in the tadpole shrimp Triops mauritanicus Ghigi in the south-western Iberian Peninsula, using mitochondrial 12S and 16S rDNA sequences. Our results indicate that a fourth, hitherto unknown main phylogenetic lineage occurs in Iberia, so that in total, the species is divided into six distinct clades, comprising T. m. mauritanicus, T. m. simplex Ghigi, and four as yet unnamed lineages that appear to be endemic to Iberia. Percentages of sequence divergence among the main clades in T. mauritanicus reach the range reported for recognized species in other notostracan lineages. A thorough morphological investigation also revealed that the differentiation among these lineages is higher than previously thought, and that populations of three of the main clades within T. mauritanicus can be reliably separated from each other and from the remaining lineages based on the morphology of adult males. The remaining clades also show a significant level of morphological differentiation, but include a certain proportion of populations for which the additional application of molecular methods is needed for a reliable determination. The geographic distributions of 12S haplotypes are indicative of frequent dispersal events and gene flow among populations belonging to the same main lineage, but give no evidence of recent migration events among different main lineages, suggesting that there is no gene flow among the latter. Our data thus suggest that the six main lineages within T. mauritanicus represent distinct species. We therefore describe the Iberian lineages as T. baeticus Korn n. sp., T. emeritensis Korn & Pérez-Bote n. sp., T. gadensis Korn & García-de-Lomas n. sp., and T. vicentinus Korn, Machado, Cristo & Cancela da Fonseca n. sp., and reinstate T. simplex Ghigi to full species status. Our data confirm the general, previously recognized pattern of a lower dispersal probability in gonochoric Triops taxa. However, we found evidence that passive dispersal in Triops may be further complicated by a strong habitat dependence of dispersal probability, mediated by prevailing dispersal vectors.