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Some considerations on the geographical distribution of rotifers

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Abstract

In the course of investigations on the systematics and zoogeography of rotifers, the author found that 48% of all taxa treated showed a limited distribution (most were periphytic or benthic periphytic species from shallow waters).

The following species were limited to the Palaearctic Region:

Marine: Synchaeta triophtalma Lauterborn, S. vorax Rousselet, and S. curvata Lie-Pettersen.

Brackish water: Colurella dicentra (Gosse), C. halophila Wulfert, and C. unicauda Eriksen.

Among Holarctic species, Notholca psammarina Buchholz & Rühmann and the two semi-species N.(striata) bipalium (O. F. Müller) and N(striata) striata (O. F. Müller) are discussed.

A series of warm-stenothermic species were found to be pantropical: Lecane leontina Turner, L. monostyla (Daday), L. harringi (Ahlstrom), Lepadella latusinus (Hilgendorf), Trichocerca chattoni (de Beauchamp), and Platyias leloupi Gillard, while Lecane plesia Myers and L. punctata (Murray) seemed to be confined to the Neotropical Region.

The data collected also suggest that:

  1. i)

    i) Keratella wirketissi Kutikova, K. kamtchatica Kutikova, K. cruciformis (Thompson), and K. eichwaldi (Levander) might be good species.

  2. ii)

    ii) Brachionus forficula Wierzejski, an Old World species, is a geographical vicariant of both B. havanaensis Rousselet and B. trahea Murray from the New World.

  3. iii)

    iii) Cases of ecological vicariance are found in Testidinella elliptica (Ehrb.) and T. clypeata (O. F. Müller) from fresh and brackish water respectively; Keratella cruciformis (Thompson) and K. eichwaldi (Levander) from the sea and brackish water respectively; Keratella quadrata (O. F. Müller), K. valga (Ehrb.), and K. tropica (Apstein), dominant in arctic to cold-moderate, in warm-temperate, and in subtropical-tropical climates respectively.

Some rotifer species are presently in expansion: the cases of K. tropica and of Brachionus falcatus Zacharias in Europe are analysed. A related case is that of man-made faunas: the presence of Brachionus havanaensis in Sangchrist Lake, Ill., USA, and the Rotifer fauna of the River Loire (France) are discussed.

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de Ridder, M. Some considerations on the geographical distribution of rotifers. Hydrobiologia 85, 209–225 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00017611

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