Hydrobiologia

, Volume 595, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

Global diversity of free living flatworms (Platyhelminthes, “Turbellaria”) in freshwater

  • Ernest R. Schockaert
  • Matthew Hooge
  • Ronald Sluys
  • Steve Schilling
  • Seth Tyler
  • Tom Artois
Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment

Abstract

This contribution reviews diversity of turbellarian species by biogeographical regions, with comments on species biology. The review draws on the database available at http://www.devbio.umesci.maine.edu/styler/turbellaria. Comparisons between regions suggest that species richness may be at least one order of magnitude higher than the currently reported number of species. In the context of the recent reconstructions of phylogeny of Platyhelminthes based on molecular data, the paper allows inferences as to the history of colonization of freshwaters by turbellarians. Specifically, four, or perhaps six, major invasions of freshwater habitats may have occurred in the Pangean period, each of which gave rise to a monophyletic freshwater taxon. In addition, several occasional invasions by representatives of marine taxa must have taken place.

Keywords

Platyhelminthes  Freshwater Distribution  Phylogeny  History 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest R. Schockaert
    • 1
  • Matthew Hooge
    • 2
  • Ronald Sluys
    • 3
  • Steve Schilling
    • 2
  • Seth Tyler
    • 2
  • Tom Artois
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics & Zoological MuseumUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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