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Cryptic diversity, intraspecific phenetic plasticity and recent geographical translocations in Branchiomma (Sabellidae, Annelida)

AuthorsCapa, María; Pons, Joan ; Hutchings, Pat
Issue Date2013
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationZoologica Scripta 42(6): 637-655 (2013)
AbstractThe importance of identifying biological diversity accurately and efficiently is becoming more evident. It is therefore critical to determine the species boundaries between closely related taxa and to establish diagnostic characters that allow us to define species. This is not an easy task when species exhibit high intraspecific phenotypic plasticity or when distinct evolutionary lineages with an unusually large amount of genetic distinctiveness show no apparent morphological diversity (cryptic species). These phenomena appear to be common in the genus of fan worms Branchiomma (Sabellidae, Annelida), and consequently, taxonomic errors are widespread in the group. Moreover, some Branchiomma species have been unintentionally translocated outside the area where natural range extension is expected, increasing the taxonomic problems. We have performed a range of analytical methods including genetic distances, Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, statistical parsimony analyses and general mixed Yule coalescent model to clarify the taxonomic status and assess the species boundaries of Branchiomma in Australia. This study shows that the traditional diagnostic morphological features are greatly homoplastic. Results also indicate that the diversity of Branchiomma in Australia is higher than previously reported and evidence some cases of high phenetic plasticity (in features previously considered as stable within species), high intraspecific genetic variability, cryptic species and several unexpected cases of translocations.© 2013 The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12028
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/zsc.12028
issn: 0300-3256
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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