Polar Biology

, 31:1427 | Cite as

Patterns in the distribution of Arctic freshwater zooplankton related to glaciation history

  • Larysa SamchyshynaEmail author
  • Lars-Anders Hansson
  • Kirsten Christoffersen
Original Paper


We analysed circumpolar samples from 68 lakes within the 10°C-July isotherm from Arctic Canada, Nunavut, Greenland, Svalbard, Eastern Siberia, the Beringia region, and Alaska. In total, we found 3 species of Anostraca, 17 of Diplostraca, 1 species of cyclopoid and 14 species of calanoid copepods. Our study identifies a wider distribution for some copepods—e.g. Eurytemora pacifica, Leptodiaptomus sicilis, Arctodiaptomus novosibiricus, Cyclops abyssorum—than previously known. Moreover, one anostracan species, Artemiopsis bungei, was recorded in North America for the first time; and one chydoriid, Chydorus gibbus, is a new species for Greenland. We observed that species richness of crustaceans is lower in lakes that were glaciated during the Quaternary period, compared to those not glaciated (e.g. Chukotski Peninsula, Siberia; Point Barrow, Alaska; and Disko Island, Greenland). This confirms the findings of classic studies: glaciation has strongly affected the biogeography of freshwater crustaceans in circumpolar areas.


Crustacea Distributional patterns Glacial history Circumpolar area 



We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Swedish Institute. We would also like to thank Dr. Gerben van Geest (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO-KNAW) for contributing samples to this study and to Dr. Maria Hołyńska (Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences) for help with identification of cyclopoid copepods. Consultations in taxonomy with Dr. Nina Vyshkvartseva (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences), Acad. Vladislav Monchenko (Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Dr. Alexey Kotov (A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences) were much appreciated.

Supplementary material

300_2008_482_MOESM1_ESM.xls (53 kb)
Appendix S1 List of sampling lakes with geographic positions and physical characteristics (ND, no data) (XLS 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larysa Samchyshyna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lars-Anders Hansson
    • 2
  • Kirsten Christoffersen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Fauna and Systematics of Invertebrate AnimalsSchmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of UkraineKyivUkraine
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and LimnologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.Freshwater Biological LaboratoryUniversity of CopenhagenHillerødDenmark

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