Comparative Phylogeography of Phoxinus, Delminichthys, Phoxinellus and Telestes in Dinaric Karst: Which Factors Have Influenced Their Current Distributions?
Reier, S., Bogutskaya, N. and Palandačić, A.
Abstract: The waters of the Dinaric Karst drain into both the Adriatic and the Black Sea basins.
Precipitation is high, yet surface waters are scarce, with the exception of sinking streams. Dinaric
Karst is a biodiversity hotspot, with diverse speleo‐ and epigean freshwater fauna. The distribution
patterns of taxa in Dinaric Karst have arisen from a combination of vicariance and dispersal and
their alteration over time. Within fishes, there are genera that include both species that are widespread
and species with restricted ranges (e.g., Phoxinus, Telestes), and genera with only restricted
distributions (e.g., Delminichthys, Phoxinellus). Some (Delminichthys, Phoxinellus and Dinaric Telestes)
have a similar lifestyle, specialized for dwelling in sinking streams in karst poljes. The present study
compares the distribution ranges of Phoxinus, Delminichthys, Phoxinellus and Telestes in Dinaric Karst
based upon their mitochondrial genetic lineages, including dating of divergence times and reconstruction
of ancestral geographic ranges. The biology of Phoxinus has played a major role in its wider
distribution than the other three genera, which exhibit some limited ability to migrate underground,
but which cannot disperse along main river courses due to their specific adaptation for dwelling in
the sinking streams of karst poljes.
Keywords: Dinaric Karst; subterranean; stygophily; freshwater fishes; molecular clock; molecular
phylogeny; vicariance; dispersal; endemism; Phoxininae; Leuciscinae