Journal cover Journal topic
Web Ecology An open-access peer-reviewed journal
Journal topic
Volume 17, issue 2
Web Ecol., 17, 29-35, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-17-29-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Web Ecol., 17, 29-35, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-17-29-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Standard article 11 Jul 2017

Standard article | 11 Jul 2017

Genetic diversity in the Alpine flatworm Crenobia alpina

Martin Brändle, Jan Sauer, Lars Opgenoorth, and Roland Brandl Martin Brändle et al.
  • Department of Ecology – Animal Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch Strasse 8, 35032 Marburg, Germany

Abstract. The freshwater flatworm Crenobia alpina (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Planariidae) lives almost exclusively in cold springs and crenal streams and possesses only limited dispersal ability. In this study fragments of the COI and 18S rRNA genes were used to estimate genetic divergences among 37 C. alpina populations from the European Alps. Phylogenetic analyses revealed five geographically and genetically distinct groups and at least 10 distinct lineages of C. alpina across the European Alps. Our study suggests that C. alpina represents a complex of numerous cryptic species. Speciation (allopatric and/or sympatric) may have been facilitated by the orogenetic activity of the Alps and the high habitat specificity.

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