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Holoarctic phylogeography of an asexual species complex. I. Mitochondrial DNA variation in arctic Daphnia.


Weider,  Lawrence J.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Weider, L. J., Hobæk, A., Colbourne, J. K., Crease, T. J., Dufresne, F., & Hebert, P. D. N. (1999). Holoarctic phylogeography of an asexual species complex. I. Mitochondrial DNA variation in arctic Daphnia. Evolution, 53(3), 777-792.

Pleistocene glacial cycles undoubtedly altered the evolutionary trajectories of many taxa, yet few studies have examined the impact of such events on genetic differentiation and phylogeography at large geographic scales. Here we present the results of a circumarctic survey of mitochondrial DNA diversity in members of the Daphnia pulex complex. The analysis involved the survey of restriction site polymorphisms in a 2100-bp fragment of the NADH-4 (ND4) and NADH-5 (ND5) genes for 276 populations representing the two major groups (tenebrosa and pulicaria) in this complex across their Holarctic range. A comparison of the distribution patterns for seven clades in this complex revealed very clear phylogeographic structuring. Most notably, pulicaria group lineages were restricted primarily to the Nearctic, with some colonization of formerly glaciated portions of northern Europe. This group was not detected from vast expanses of northern Eurasia, including the Beringian glacial refuge. In contrast, tenebrosa group haplotypes showed considerable intercontinental divergence between Eurasian and North American lineages, but were absent from Greenland and Iceland, as well as the Canadian arctic archipelago. Dispersal in Eurasia was primarily in a westerly direction from Beringia, whereas dispersal in the Nearctic followed proglacial drainage patterns. Long-distance dispersal of certain lineages was observed in both groups, and variation in haplotype richness and nucleotide diversity allowed us to make inferences about the positioning of putative glacial refugia. Overall, the phylogeographic pattern of diversification in this arctic complex is characterized by the apparently unique postglacial histories for each clade, indicating that even closely allied taxa can respond independently to the allopatric effects of glacial cycles. This is in sharp contrast to other phylogeographic studies of species assemblages from more southern (unglaciated) latitudes, which are often characterized by concordant patterns.