, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 175-190

Biogeography of the genusArtemia (Crustacea, Branchiopoda, Anostraca) in Spain

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Abstract

This is an updated study on the biogeographic distribution of the populations of the genusArtemia (Branchiopoda, Anostraca) in Spain, with special focus on populations inhabiting salt lagoons and inland salterns. The populations recorded (40) belong to the bisexual speciesA. tunisiana and to the asexual groupA. parthenogenetica (diploid and tetraploid strains). They usually appear in three different hypersaline ecosystems: solar salterns and lagoons filled with sea water, solar salterns and lagoons containing brines of diluted mineral salts, and lagoons filled with athalassic (endorheic) brines. The brines in salinas are chemically characterized by high Cl concentrations, especially in inland salinas, whose brine sources are geologically associated with evaporitic formations developed in the Triassic and Lower Liassic of eastern Spain. Brines in athalassic lagoons, geologically associated with Mesozoic and Cenozoic periods, show higher levels of sulfate (up to 40–50%) as well as Mg2+. From a geographical point of view, bisexual and diploid asexual populations are mainly found in coastal and inland salinas or lagoons below 40° N, while asexual tetraploid populations are found in inland salinas and athalassic lagoons above that latitude. These populations have been biologically characterized by the morphology of their adults through multivariate analysis.