What Can Molecular Markers Tell Us About the Evolutionary History of Daphnia Species Complexes

K. Schwenk, A. Ender, B. Streit

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Despite the wealth of information on the ecology of Daphnia species, the systematics and phylogeny of the genus is still unresolved. The taxonomic uncertainties are based in part on the phenomenon of interspecific hybridization, which has been well documented for species of the D. galeata/cucullata/hyalina complexes. The occurrence of syntopic populations of up to three species and their three hybrids suggest niche differentiation, but very little is known about genetic divergence of hybridizing taxa and the potential consequences of hybridization (i.e. introgression). Since an operational species definition is necessarily based on information on the evolutionary mechanisms that result into the splitting of lineages, ecological and genetic consequences of interspecific hybridization have to be considered. In order to reveal the significance of hybridization and introgression, we combined several aspects of phylogenetic investigations within the D. galeata/cucullata/hyalina complexes. Furthermore we demonstrate how molecular markers contribute to an evaluation of species complexes. [KEYWORDS: Biogeography; daphnia longispina complex; interspecific hybridization; phylogeny; reticulate evolution; speciation Mitochondrial-dna; interspecific hybridization; genetic-divergence; arbitrary primers; speciation; introgression; population; drosophila; galeata; patterns]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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