loading page

Quaternary geomorphological and climatic changes associated with the diversification of Iberian freshwater fishes: the case of the genus Cobitis (Cypriniformes, Cobitidae)
  • +1
  • Andrea Corral,
  • Silvia Perea,
  • Anabel Perdices,
  • Ignacio Doadrio
Andrea Corral
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Silvia Perea
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
Author Profile
Anabel Perdices
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
Author Profile
Ignacio Doadrio
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
Author Profile

Abstract

We studied the population genetic structure of Cobitis vettonica, an endangered freshwater fish species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula in order to propose a biogeographic model of the responses of species to the multiple changes that occurred in the Iberian hydrological system during the Quaternary period. We also deciphered the relationship of C. vettonica with its sister species C. paludica, particularly in sympatric areas and provide genetic information for conservation purposes. To achieve this end, we analysed both mitochondrial and nuclear data (the cytochrome b and the nuclear recombination activating 1 genes) and a battery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 248 individuals of C. vettonica or C. paludica from 38 localities, including some sympatric ones, covering the entire distribution area of C. vettonica. We highlight the important role played by the hydrogeomorphological processes and climatic changes that occurred in the Iberian Peninsula during the Quaternary on both the population structure of C. vettonica and its relationship with its sister species C. paludica. Our results support the genetic introgression of populations at the eastern limit of the distribution of C. vettonica. Furthermore, we postulate genetic introgression in sympatric areas. Finally, we propose the establishment or expansion of four OCUs for C. vettonica, and highlight the threat faced by its populations due to the low level of genetic diversity detected for some of its populations and genetic introgression with C. paludica, which could eventually displace C. vettonica, resulting in a loss of diversity in this species.