Multiple Glacial Refuges of Unwinged Ground Beetles in Europe Molecular Data Support Classical Phylogeographic Models

Claudia Drees, Andrea Matern, Goddert von Oheimb, Thomas Reimann, and Thorsten Assmann

Abstract Since the 1930s, several European zoologists have developed scenarios for glacial refuges and postglacial expansions, mainly based on studies of the morphological differentiation of populations and distribution patterns of species. For example, Holdhaus described the distribution of blind euedaphic and troglobitic beetles restricted to an area South of a well-defined line crossing the Southern Europe from West to East. In these areas, where many endemic animal and plant species occur, other species that are currently more widely distributed in Europe were probably able to survive the glacial period(s). Molecular analyses of 77 populations of the silvicolous ground beetle Carabus auronitens support the existence of these postulated refuge areas. Genetic differentiation of C. auronitens provides good evidence for multiple refuges, which are, however, situated further North than previously assumed. Furthermore, genetic differentiation is more pronounced in the areas South of the "Holdhaus line" than in the areas North of it.


We dedicate this work to Prof. em. Dr. Friedrich Weber, our former academic supervisor and colleague, without whose tenacity in the study of C. auronitens this paper would not have been possible.

C. Drees (*), A. Matern , G. von Oheimb, and T. Assmann

Institute of Ecology and Environmental Chemistry, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Scharnhorststraße 1, D-21335 Lüneburg, Germany e-mails: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

T. Reimann

Institute of General Zoology and Genetics, University of Münster, Schlossplatz 5, D-48149 Münster, Germany

Present address: Projekträger Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Zimmerstr. 26-27, D-10969 Berlin, Germany e-mail: [email protected]

J.C. Habel and T. Assmann (eds.), Relict Species: Phylogeography and Conservation Biology, 199 DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-92160-8_11, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

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