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Thermal refugia and the survival of species in changing environments: new evidence from a nationally extinct freshwater fish

Thermal refugia and the survival of species in changing environments: new evidence from a nationally extinct freshwater fish
Thermal refugia and the survival of species in changing environments: new evidence from a nationally extinct freshwater fish
Variation in global climate during the Quaternary has helped shape current species distributions. The stenohaline fish fauna of the British Isles is generally thought to have colonised eastern England via a landbridge following the last glacial maximum. This theory is investigated using the nationally extinct burbot, Lota lota, as a model species. Samples were collected from 15 museum specimens of known English provenance and analysed for differences in the mitochondrial DNA control region. The DNA analysis produced eight sequences of 270 base pairs, with one sample reaching 420 base pairs in length. Genetic analysis suggests the extinct English population of the burbot was a distinct lineage, differing from those previously described from across the species’ global distribution. Despite this, network analysis suggests that the English lineage is closely related to populations in western Europe, supporting colonisation via a postglacial landbridge. The rate of genetic divergence suggests that the timing of L. lota's colonisation of English rivers was prior to the last glacial maximum. Lota lota appears to have survived the last glacial maximum in refugia within the British Isles. This study adds to the evidence for a British freshwater refugia and furthers our understanding of the colonisation history of British freshwater fishes. These results also provide valuable information for conservation strategies for L. lota indicating the western European clade as most genetically appropriate for potential future reintroductions to English rivers.
burbot, colonisation freshwater fishes, glacial maximum, phylogeopgraphy
0906-6691
1-9
Worthington, T.A.
8113f02a-e550-46a9-9c13-cab4044c3bc6
Van Houdt, J.K.J.
1f6910bd-e6ab-4cc5-9147-3f91e9e74390
Hull, J.M.
3e9f11d9-46b9-4091-85f8-e48c3dabdb06
Kemp, P.S.
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7
Worthington, T.A.
8113f02a-e550-46a9-9c13-cab4044c3bc6
Van Houdt, J.K.J.
1f6910bd-e6ab-4cc5-9147-3f91e9e74390
Hull, J.M.
3e9f11d9-46b9-4091-85f8-e48c3dabdb06
Kemp, P.S.
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7

Worthington, T.A., Van Houdt, J.K.J., Hull, J.M. and Kemp, P.S. (2016) Thermal refugia and the survival of species in changing environments: new evidence from a nationally extinct freshwater fish. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 1-9. (doi:10.1111/eff.12285).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Variation in global climate during the Quaternary has helped shape current species distributions. The stenohaline fish fauna of the British Isles is generally thought to have colonised eastern England via a landbridge following the last glacial maximum. This theory is investigated using the nationally extinct burbot, Lota lota, as a model species. Samples were collected from 15 museum specimens of known English provenance and analysed for differences in the mitochondrial DNA control region. The DNA analysis produced eight sequences of 270 base pairs, with one sample reaching 420 base pairs in length. Genetic analysis suggests the extinct English population of the burbot was a distinct lineage, differing from those previously described from across the species’ global distribution. Despite this, network analysis suggests that the English lineage is closely related to populations in western Europe, supporting colonisation via a postglacial landbridge. The rate of genetic divergence suggests that the timing of L. lota's colonisation of English rivers was prior to the last glacial maximum. Lota lota appears to have survived the last glacial maximum in refugia within the British Isles. This study adds to the evidence for a British freshwater refugia and furthers our understanding of the colonisation history of British freshwater fishes. These results also provide valuable information for conservation strategies for L. lota indicating the western European clade as most genetically appropriate for potential future reintroductions to English rivers.

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Accepted/In Press date: 8 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 April 2016
Keywords: burbot, colonisation freshwater fishes, glacial maximum, phylogeopgraphy
Organisations: Water & Environmental Engineering Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393004
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393004
ISSN: 0906-6691
PURE UUID: ed36d167-ff94-474e-b5b9-681f8def5fa0
ORCID for P.S. Kemp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-0589

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Date deposited: 19 Apr 2016 11:39
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 05:59

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Contributors

Author: T.A. Worthington
Author: J.K.J. Van Houdt
Author: J.M. Hull
Author: P.S. Kemp ORCID iD

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