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ABSTRACT Distribution of populations of fresh-water ostracodes were studied together with physico-chemical variables in 149 helocrene springs in the Central Pyrenees. Twenty-one species were recorded in this survey; ten of them are cited in Spain for the first time: Candona parallela, Cryptocandona vavrai, Cypria lacustris, Ilyocypris inermis, Ilyocypris decipiens, Notodromas persica, Eucypris pigra, Herpetocypris brevicaudata, Psychrodromus olivaceus, and Psychrodromus,new species. Literature records for the area considered, most of them published more than 40 years ago, are also discussed. Due to the high diversity of spring types, the ostracode fauna is not restricted to truly crenobiont species; crenophilic species and several generalists have also invaded these habitats. In general, ostracode species prefer springs with a high mineral content and low flow discharge. From a biogeographical point of view, ostracode fauna on the Spanish slopes of the Pyrenees allows the distinction between a zone of marginal mountains, characterized by a continental climate with a strong Mediterranean influence, and a zone which includes the axial mountains, with a continental climate, but with a perceptible Atlantic influence. True boreo-Alpine species are not represented in Pyrenean springs, but a significant number of widely distributed coldwater stenothermal species occurs, supporting the idea that these habitats acted as refuges for widely distributed species during the Ice Age.


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