, Volume 164, Issue 1-4, pp 215-237

The species concept in diatoms: Evidence for morphologically distinct, sympatric gamodemes in four epipelic species

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Reproductive isolation is demonstrated between morphologically distinct, sympatric demes of four epipelic diatom species inhabiting a small pond. The six demes ofSellaphora pupula, four of them allogamous, one probably autogamous, and one apparently asexual, differ morphologically with respect to size, shape, stria density and pattern. In the pond,Caloneis silicula, Cymatopleura solea, andNeidium ampliatum each contain two allogamous demes, differing principally in size. There are intrinsic barriers to hybridization between the demes, which operate at the earliest stages of sexual reproduction. Such gamodemes are perhaps best treated taxonomically as separate species.

Dedicated to Prof. DrLothar Geitler on the occasion of his 90th birthday. I gratefully acknowledge the debt I owe Prof.Geitler for the insights and inspiration I have gained from his papers. I account myself fortunate to have visited him briefly in 1983, at Lunz, and to have seen the rivers where his work on diatom species began in 1922.