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Global Biodiversity and Geographical Distribution of Diapausing Aquatic Invertebrates: The Case of the Cosmopolitan Brine Shrimp, Artemia (Branchiopoda, Anostraca)

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The genus Artemia comprises passively dispersed anostracan species with a distribution all around the world, except in Antarctica. We used both published and personal data to assess and update existing knowledge on the diversity and distribution of Artemia, in particular compiling also genetic and geographic information. Our results indicate there are three Artemia complexes, A. franciscana, A. tibetiana and A. salina, suggesting at least three undescribed, and one unidentified to date, highly isolated lineages, to be re-evaluated taxonomically. Additionally, at a global scale, our data set shows two large, poorly explored geographic regions in Central East Asia, which in future studies could provide interesting information on geographic speciation, the origin of parthenogenesis, and range expansion in this group. We also discuss the implications for conservation as derived from knowledge on the biodiversity (native and invasive species) and geographic distribution (i.e., identification of species/lineages, and regions occupied), which have major relevance for conservation management at the level of wetland ecosystems. El género Artemia está constituido por anostrácodos dispersados de forma pasiva con una distribución alrededor de todo el mundo, excepto en la Antártica. Utilizamos tanto datos propios como publicados para investigar y actualizar la información existente sobre la diversidad y distribución de Artemia, en concreto compilamos datos genéticos y geográficos. Nuestros resultados indican que existen tres complejos de Artemia, A. franciscana, A. tibetiana y A. salina, sugiriendo al menos tres linajes aislados no determinados, y uno no descrito hasta ahora, para ser re-evaluados taxonómicamente. Así mismo, y a una escala global, nuestros datos muestran dos grandes regiones geográficas pobremente exploradas en el Este Central de Asia, que en futuros estudios podrían proporcionar una información interesante sobre la especiación geográfica, el origen de la partenogénesis y la expansión de rango en este grupo. También discutimos las implicaciones para la conservación derivadas del conocimiento de la biodiversidad (especies nativas e invasoras) y la distribución geográfica (i.e., identificación de especies/linajes y regiones que ocupan), lo cual tiene una gran relevancia para el manejo de la conservación a nivel de ecosistemas de humedales.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Wetland Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas — CSIC), Pabellón del Perú, Av. María Luisa, s/n, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain;, Email:; 2: Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas — CSIC), Pabellón del Perú, Av. María Luisa, s/n, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain


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