Conservation Genetics

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 503–515 | Cite as

Modelling range shifts and assessing genetic diversity distribution of the montane aquatic mayfly Ameletus inopinatus in Europe under climate change scenarios

  • Julia Taubmann
  • Kathrin TheissingerEmail author
  • Kevin A. Feldheim
  • Irina Laube
  • Wolfram Graf
  • Peter Haase
  • Jes Johannesen
  • Steffen U. PaulsEmail author
Research Article


Genetic diversity is one of the most important criteria to identify unique populations for conservation purposes. In this study we analyze the genetic population structure of the endangered montane mayfly Ameletus inopinatus in its European range. The species is restricted to unpolluted cold-water streams, and exhibits an insular distribution across highlands of Central Europe and a more continuous distribution across Fennoscandia and Northern Euro-Siberia. We genotyped 389 individuals from 31 populations for eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate genetic diversity and population structure within and among European mountain ranges. Genetic diversity of A. inopinatus decreases along an east–west gradient in Central Europe and along a north–south gradient in Fennoscandia, respectively. Centres of exceptionally high genetic diversity are located in the Eastern Alps (Andertal Moor, Austria), the High Tatra, the Beskides, the Sudety Mountains and the Eastern German Highlands. Species distribution modelling for 2080 projects major regional habitat loss, particularly in Central Europe mountain ranges. By relating these range shifts to our population genetic results, we identify conservation units primarily in Eastern Europe, that if preserved would maintain high levels of the present-day genetic diversity and continue to provide long-term suitable habitat under future climate warming scenarios.


Microsatellites Population genetics Species distribution modelling Conservation Aquatic insects Wahlund effect 



We are very grateful to Ralf Brettfeld, John Brittain, Michael Theobald, Hanno Voigt and André Wagner who supported this study by providing material, information, and help in the field. This study was financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) grant HA 3431/2-1 awarded to PH and SUP, and HA 3431/2-2 awarded to PH and Alfred Seitz (Mainz), and the research funding programme ‘‘LOEWE—Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz’’ of Hesse’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts. KT and IL are supported by PhD scholarships of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (SdV). SUP gratefully acknowledges a German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (BMBF-LPD 9901/8-169).

Supplementary material

10592_2010_157_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 2375 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Taubmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kathrin Theissinger
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kevin A. Feldheim
    • 3
  • Irina Laube
    • 1
    • 4
  • Wolfram Graf
    • 5
  • Peter Haase
    • 2
  • Jes Johannesen
    • 1
  • Steffen U. Pauls
    • 4
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Institute of ZoologyJohannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of Limnology and ConservationSenckenbergGelnhausenGermany
  3. 3.Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and EvolutionThe Field MuseumChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)Frankfurt am MainGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem ManagementWienAustria
  6. 6.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA

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