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      Local Hotspots of Endemism or Artifacts of Incorrect Taxonomy? The Status of Microendemic Pill Millipede Species of the Genus Glomeris in Northern Italy (Diplopoda, Glomerida)

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          Abstract

          Local endemic species with their unique evolutionary history always stirred the interest of scientists. One such area especially rich in endemics is northern Italy. In case of pill millipedes of the genus Glomeris Latreille, 1803, only a single species is found in northern Europe, while 22 country-endemics alone are known from Italy. Many of these endemics, however, have not been studied in several decades; therefore we aimed to determine whether this diversity is the result of overlooked synonymies or natural processes. A focus was placed on the local endemics that are in some aspects morphologically similar to the widespread and variable G. klugii Brandt, 1833. The local endemics Glomeris larii Verhoeff, 1921, G. primordialis Verhoeff, 1930, G. oblongoguttata Verhoeff, 1894, G. oropensis Verhoeff, 1936, G. transalpina Koch, 1836, G. romana Verhoeff, 1900, G. ligurica Latzel, 1884 and G. apuana Verhoeff, 1911 were included in a molecular analysis incorporating ribosomal nuclear (28S) and mitochondrial (COI) genes. Individuals were sequenced and compared to 31 specimens from 18 localities of G. klugii. The final dataset included 657 base pairs for 56 terminals in the COI, and 14 terminals with 1068 base pairs in the combined 28S and COI analysis. Our analysis shows intraspecific distances of up to 5% in the COI gene in G. klugii that are not strictly correlated to geography or color pattern. G. larii is discovered to be genetically and morphologically identical to G. klugii and is synonymised with the latter. Interspecific distances in our dataset vary between 6.7 to 15.9%, with the lowest (6.7–9.0%) between G. primordialis and G. klugii. Our analysis confirms the species status of the local endemics G. primordialis, G. oblongoguttata, G. oropensis, G. transalpina, G. ligurica and G. apuana. We also confirm the synonymy of G. undulata Koch, 1844 under G. klugii. G. genuensis Latzel, 1886 is indistinguishable from G. ligurica.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Dating of the human-ape splitting by a molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA.

          A new statistical method for estimating divergence dates of species from DNA sequence data by a molecular clock approach is developed. This method takes into account effectively the information contained in a set of DNA sequence data. The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was calibrated by setting the date of divergence between primates and ungulates at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (65 million years ago), when the extinction of dinosaurs occurred. A generalized least-squares method was applied in fitting a model to mtDNA sequence data, and the clock gave dates of 92.3 +/- 11.7, 13.3 +/- 1.5, 10.9 +/- 1.2, 3.7 +/- 0.6, and 2.7 +/- 0.6 million years ago (where the second of each pair of numbers is the standard deviation) for the separation of mouse, gibbon, orangutan, gorilla, and chimpanzee, respectively, from the line leading to humans. Although there is some uncertainty in the clock, this dating may pose a problem for the widely believed hypothesis that the pipedal creature Australopithecus afarensis, which lived some 3.7 million years ago at Laetoli in Tanzania and at Hadar in Ethiopia, was ancestral to man and evolved after the human-ape splitting. Another likelier possibility is that mtDNA was transferred through hybridization between a proto-human and a proto-chimpanzee after the former had developed bipedalism.
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            The influence of a hot environment on parental cooperation of a ground-nesting shorebird, the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus

            Background Parental care often increases offspring survival, but is costly to the parents. A trade-off between the cost and benefit of care is expected, so that when care provisioning by both parents is essential for the success of young, for instance in extremely cold or hot environments, the parents should rear their young together. We investigated the latter hypothesis in a ground nesting shorebird, the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus in an extremely hot environment, the Arabian Desert. Midday ground temperature was often above 50°C in our study site in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), thus leaving the eggs unattended even for a few minute risks overheating and death of embryos. Results Through the use of video surveillance systems we recorded incubation routines of male and female Kentish plovers at 28 nests over a full day (24 h). We show that ambient temperature had a significant influence on incubation behaviour of both sexes, and the relationships are often non-linear. Coordinated incubation between parents was particularly strong in midday with incubation shared approximately equally between the male and the female. The enhanced biparental incubation was due to males increasing their nest attendance with ambient temperature. Conclusions Our results suggest biparental care is essential during incubation in the Kentish plover in extremely hot environments. Shared incubation may also help the parents to cope with heat stress themselves: they can relieve each other frequently from incubation duties. We suggest that once the eggs have hatched the risks associated with hot temperature are reduced: the chicks become mobile, and they gradually develop thermoregulation. When biparental care of young is no longer essential one parent may desert the family. The relaxed demand of the offspring may contribute to the diverse breeding systems exhibited by many shorebirds.
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              Invasion from the cold past: extensive introgression of mountain hare (Lepus timidus) mitochondrial DNA into three other hare species in northern Iberia.

              Mitochondrial DNA introgression from Lepus timidus into Lepus granatensis and Lepus europaeus was recently reported in Iberia, although L. timidus presumably retreated from this region at the end of the last ice age. Here we assess the extent of this ancient mtDNA introgression by RFLP analysis of 695 specimens representing the three hare species present in Iberia. The introgressed L. timidus lineage was found in 23 of the 37 populations sampled. It is almost fixed in L. europaeus across its Iberian range in the Pyrenean foothills, and in L. granatensis, which occupies the rest of the peninsula, it is predominant in the north and gradually disappears further south. We also found it in Lepus castroviejoi, a species endemic to Cantabria. Multiple hybridizations and, potentially, a selective advantage for the L. timidus lineage can explain the remarkable taxonomic and geographical range of this mitochondrial introgression.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                15 September 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [001]Section Myriapoda, Centre for Taxonomy and Evolutionary Research, Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig, Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Bonn, Germany
                Sichuan University, CHINA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                • Conceptualization: TW.

                • Data curation: TW CC.

                • Formal analysis: TW CC.

                • Funding acquisition: TW.

                • Investigation: TW CC.

                • Methodology: TW.

                • Project administration: TW.

                • Resources: TW CC.

                • Software: TW.

                • Supervision: TW.

                • Validation: CC.

                • Visualization: TW CC.

                • Writing – original draft: TW.

                • Writing – review & editing: TW CC.

                Article
                PONE-D-16-28219
                10.1371/journal.pone.0162284
                5025202
                27632210
                e7f170e5-6a11-47e8-96c7-6d8cd5677eaf
                © 2016 Wesener, Conrad

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 1, Pages: 22
                Product
                Funding
                The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
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                All sequence files are available from Genbank database (accession numbers are in the manuscript, in the Table). All other relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

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