Native Dreissena freshwater mussels in the Balkans: in and out of ancient lakes

T. Wilke, R. Schultheiß, C. Albrecht, N. Bornmann, S. Trajanovski, T. Kevrekidis
2010 Biogeosciences Discussions  
The Balkans is a biogeographically highly diverse region and a worldwide hotspot of endemic freshwater diversity. A substantial part of this diversity is attributed to well recognized and potential ancient lakes in its southwestern part. However, despite considerable research efforts, faunal relationships among those lakes are not well understood. Therefore, genetic information from native representatives of the mussel genus Dreissena is here used to test the biogeographical zonation of the
more » ... hwestern Balkans, to relate demographic changes to environmental changes, to assess the degree of eco-insularity, to reconstruct their evolutionary history, and to explore the potential of native taxa for becoming invasive. Phylogeographical and population genetic analyses indicate that most studied populations belong to two native species: D. presbensis (including the distinct genetic subgroup from Lake Ohrid, "D. stankovici") and D. blanci. In addition, the first confirmed record of invasive D. polymorpha in the southwestern Balkan is presented. The distribution of native Dreissena spp. generally coincides with the biogeographical zonations previously suggested based on fish data. However, there is disagreement on the assignment of the ancient lakes in the area to respective biogeographical regions. The data for Lake Ohrid are not conclusive. A closer biogeographical connection to lakes of the Vardar region and possibly the northern Ionian region is, however, suggested for Lake Prespa. The reconstruction of the evolutionary history of Dreissena spp. suggests that populations underwent demographic and spatial expansions in the recent past. Expansions
doi:10.5194/bgd-7-4425-2010 fatcat:eoiftp4ytjdstaqqfyoulexax4