More diverse than expected: distributional patterns of Oecidiobranchus Hessler, 1970 (Isopoda, Asellota) on the Greenland-Iceland-Faeroe Ridge based on molecular markers
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Oecidiobranchus (Isopoda, Asellota) is distinctive among asellote isopod genera in that most of its known species occur in the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean. Some of these species are known only from a few specimens (i.e., poorly known). We used a combined morphological and genetic approach to evaluate the diversity of Oecidiobranchus species in this region. On the basis of genetics, at least three species were recognized, representing Oecidiobranchus cf. nanseni, Oecidiobranchus cf. plebejum, and a third, probably undescribed species. Oecidiobranchus cf. plebejum was found at several locations to the north of the large Greenland-Iceland-Faeroe Ridge, while O. cf. nanseni occurred on both sides of the ridge; temporal or spatial changes during and after the last ice age may have contributed to the genetic differences of populations on each side of the ridge. The wide distribution of the genus in the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean suggests that the genus has been present there for an extensive period.
KeywordsIsopoda IceAGE GIF Ridge Circum-Icelandic distribution DNA barcoding Biogeography Population
We would like to thank the crews of RV Metor and RV Poseidon for their important help and contribution. We wish to thank all pickers and sorters during the IceAGE expeditions for providing a unique set of specimens. Without the help of Karen Jeskulke, Sarah Schnurr, and Andrea Ormos, working so hard on producing high-quality PCR products at the Smithsonian, the whole work would have been much slower. We thank Anna M. Jażdżewska for help with the data and two anonymous reviewers whose suggestions improved the manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.
Permits and approval of field or observational studies have been obtained by the authors, if applicable.
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