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      Conceptual shifts in animal systematics as reflected in the taxonomic history of a common aquatic snail species (Lymnaea stagnalis)

      Zoosystematics and Evolution

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Lymnaea stagnalis (L., 1758) is among the most widespread and well-studied species of freshwater Mollusca of the northern hemisphere. It is also notoriously known for its huge conchological variability. The history of scientific exploration of this species may be traced back to the end of the 16th century (Ulisse Aldrovandi in Renaissance Italy) and, thus, L. stagnalis has been chosen as a proper model taxon to demonstrate how changes in theoretical foundations and methodology of animal taxonomy have been reflected in the practice of classification of a particular taxon, especially on the intraspecific level. In this paper, I depict the long story of recognition of L. stagnalis by naturalists and biologists since the 16th century up to the present day. It is shown that different taxonomic philosophies (essentialism, population thinking, tree thinking) led to different views on the species’ internal structure and its systematic position itself. The problem of how to deal with intraspecific variability in the taxonomic arrangement of L. stagnalis has been a central problem that made systematists change their opinion following conceptual shifts in taxonomic theory.

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          On the importance of intraspecific variability for the quantification of functional diversity

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            Mitochondrial DNA reveals a strong phylogeographic structure in the badger across Eurasia.

            The badger, Meles meles, is a widely distributed mustelid in Eurasia and shows large geographic variability in morphological characters whose evolutionary significance is unclear and needs to be contrasted with molecular data. We sequenced 512 bp of the mitochondrial DNA control region in 115 Eurasian badgers from 21 countries in order to test for the existence of structuring in their phylogeography, to describe the genetic relationships among their populations across its widespread geographic range, and to infer demographic and biogeographic processes. We found that the Eurasian badger is divided into four groups regarding their mitochondrial DNA: Europe, Southwest Asia, North and East Asia, and Japan. This result suggests that the separation of badgers into phylogeographic groups was influenced by cold Pleistocene glacial stages and permafrost boundaries in Eurasia, and by geographic barriers, such as mountains and deserts. Genetic variation within phylogeographic groups based on distances assuming the Tamura-Nei model with rate heterogeneity and invariable sites (d(T-N) range: 3.3-4.2) was much lower than among them (d(T-N) range: 10.7-38.0), and 80% of the variation could be attributed to differences among regions. Spatial analysis of molecular variance (samova), median-joining network, and Mantel test did not detect genetic structuring within any of the phylogeographic groups with the exception of Europe, where 50% of variation was explained by differences among groups of populations. Our data suggest that the European, Southwest Asian, and North and East Asian badgers evolved separately since the end of Pliocene, at the beginnings of glacial ages, whereas Japanese badgers separated from continental Asian badgers during the middle Pleistocene. Endangered badgers from Crete Island, classified as Meles meles arcalus subspecies, were closely related to badgers from Southwest Asia. We also detected sudden demographic growth in European and Southwest Asian badgers that occurred during the Middle Pleistocene.
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              MOLECULAR SYSTEMATICS OF THE FRESHWATER SNAIL FAMILY LYMNAEIDAE (PULMONATA: BASOMMATOPHORA) UTILISING MITOCHONDRIAL RIBOSOMAL DNA SEQUENCES

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zoosystematics and Evolution
                ZSE
                Pensoft Publishers
                1860-0743
                1435-1935
                July 08 2015
                July 08 2015
                : 91
                : 2
                : 91-103
                Article
                10.3897/zse.91.4509
                © 2015
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