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Locked in the icehouse: evolution of an endemic Epimeria (Amphipoda, Crustacea) species flock on the Antarctic shelf
Verheye, M.L.; Backeljau, T.; d'Udekem d'Acoz, C. (2017). Locked in the icehouse: evolution of an endemic Epimeria (Amphipoda, Crustacea) species flock on the Antarctic shelf. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 114: 14-33. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.05.013
In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Elsevier: Orlando, FL. ISSN 1055-7903; e-ISSN 1095-9513, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
Author keywords
    Amphipoda; Southern ocean; Historical biogeography; Phylogeny;Divergence times; Diversification

Authors  Top 
  • Verheye, M.L., more
  • Backeljau, T., more
  • d'Udekem d'Acoz, C., more

Abstract
    The Antarctic shelf’s marine biodiversity has been greatly influenced by the climatic and glacial history of the region. Extreme temperature changes led to the extinction of some lineages, while others adapted and flourished. The amphipod genus Epimeria is an example of the latter, being particularly diverse in the Antarctic region. By reconstructing a time-calibrated phylogeny based on mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (28S and H3) markers and including Epimeriaspecies from all oceans, this study provides a temporal and geographical framework for the evolution of Antarctic Epimeria. The monophyly of this genus is not supported by Bayesian Inference, as Antarctic and non-Antarctic Epimeria form two distinct well-supported clades, with Antarctic Epimeria being a sister clade to two stilipedid species. The monophyly of Antarctic Epimeria suggests that this clade evolved in isolation since its origin. While the precise timing of this origin remains unclear, it is inferred that the Antarctic lineage arose from a late Gondwanan ancestor and hence did not colonize the Antarctic region after the continent broke apart from the other fragments of Gondwanaland. The initial diversification of the clade occurred 38.04 Ma (95% HPD [48.46 Ma; 28.36 Ma]) in a cooling environment. Adaptation to cold waters, along with the extinction of cold-intolerant taxa and resulting ecological opportunities, likely led to the successful diversification of Epimeria on the Antarctic shelf. However, there was neither evidence of a rapid lineage diversification early in the clade’s history, nor of any shifts in diversification rates induced by glacial cycles. This suggests that a high turnover rate on the repeatedly scoured Antarctic shelf could have masked potential signals of diversification bursts.

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