, Volume 714, Issue 1, pp 155–167 | Cite as

Mitochondrial gene trees support persistence of cold tolerant fairy shrimp throughout the Pleistocene glaciations in both southern and more northerly refugia

  • Jane ReniersEmail author
  • Bram Vanschoenwinkel
  • Nicolas Rabet
  • Luc Brendonck
Primary Research Paper


Fairy shrimp (Crustacea: Anostraca) are specialist inhabitants of temporary aquatic habitats. In many parts of the world and particularly in Western Europe, however, populations are declining while the development of adequate conservation strategies is impeded by a poor knowledge of the genetic structure and taxonomic status of remaining lineages. We reconstructed a phylogeography of the species Chirocephalus diaphanus Prévost, 1803 using partial sequences of the mitochondrial COI gene and discuss the importance of different Pleistocene refugia to explain current diversity patterns. In addition to 20 C. diaphanus populations, we also included populations of six presumably closely related chirocephalids to evaluate their taxonomic status. Based on molecular data, the Eastern European subspecies C. diaphanus romanicus deserves species status while the species status of two Italian chirocephalids, C. salinus and C. ruffoi is questionable. Results indicate European C. diaphanus lineages diverged well before the last glacial maximum and survived the Pleistocene glaciations in multiple (sub)refugia along the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan peninsula. Northern Europe was subsequently recolonized from Southern France, resulting in high levels of cryptic diversity around glacial refugia but also in more widespread haplotypes in mainland Europe.


C. diaphanus Cryptic diversity Long distance dispersal Temporary pools Zooplankton Refugia 



Jane Reniers is currently supported by a PhD grant from the Fund for scientific research Flanders (FWO). The authors wish to thank Tom Pinceel for useful comments on the manuscript as well as the multitude of researchers that kindly contributed samples: Maria Rosa Miracle, Laszlo Demeter, Luis Cancela da Fonseca, Frank Van de Meutter, Aline Waterkeyn, Lei Paulssen, Bartek Goldyn, Eric Gallerne, Michaël Manuel, Jean-François Cart, and Eric Quéinnec.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Reniers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bram Vanschoenwinkel
    • 1
  • Nicolas Rabet
    • 2
  • Luc Brendonck
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyKULeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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