A multiple data set phylogeny for the endemic South African freshwater phreatoicidean isopod genus Mesamphisopus: Taxonomic and biogeographic implications

Gouws G. ; Matthee C.A. ; Stewart B.A. (2010)


The obligate, freshwater isopod suborder Phreatoicidea is represented in South Africa by ten species contained within the endemic genus Mesamphisopus (Mesamphisopidae). Here, phylogenetic hypotheses are proposed to describe the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the genus with respect to drainage basin evolution and to assess species diversity, particularly among populations variably identified as Mesamphisopus abbreviatus or Mesamphisopus depressus. Twenty-three ingroup taxa were examined, including eight known species and representatives of the M. abbreviatus-depressus complex. Allozyme data from 12 loci were analysed phenetically and cladistically. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the 12S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I genes were analysed as a combined mtDNA data set and as a total data set in combination with recoded allele frequency data. Analyses retrieved (1) a monophyletic Mesamphisopus; (2) Mesamphisopus tsitsikamma and a Mesamphisopus paludosus + Mesamphisopus penicillatus clade as basal lineages; (3) a Mesamphisopus capensis + Mesamphisopus baccatus clade; and (4) a clade containing the M. abbreviatus-depressus complex, with these taxa nested among several other species. Large genetic distances among taxa and the paraphyly of the members of the M. abbreviatus-depressus complex suggested the presence of hidden taxonomic diversity in Mesamphisopus. Clear biogeographic patterns emerged with lineages and clades mostly restricted to geographically discrete regions. Patterns showed remarkable similarity to those seen in the region's terrestrial fauna and bore no relation to the history of drainage basins. These patterns suggested that vicariance and, possibly, limited dispersal events played a major role in the evolution of Mesamphisopus. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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