Stories from stream beds: what does diversity of epigean amphipods along the Carpathian Arc reveal about ancient landscapes and glacial refugia?
Amphipods are not only widespread and important components of stream foodwebs but also interesting model organisms for biogeography and evolutionary biology. Due to their relatively low dispersal potential and lack of dormant stages, their present-day diversity patterns often reflect ancient processes. I will present results of several interconnected studies on the evolutionary history of epigean Gammarus and Niphargus in the Carpathian Arc and southwestern Europe, conducted with my PhD student Denis Copilaș-Ciocianu. In particular, I will highlight importance of the whole Carpathian region as a diversity hotspot and glacial refugium for permanent aquatic fauna, an amazing cryptic diversity of seemingly ubiquitous taxa, and unexpected contrasts in patterns observed in some adjacent regions (Czechia vs. Slovakia) or taxa found in the same areas (Gammarus vs. Niphargus in the Danube catchment).
Host: Justyna Wolinska